Clinical Law for Clinical Practice: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Clinical Law for Clinical Practice

1st Edition

By Robert Wheeler

CRC Press

150 pages

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pub: 2020-07-28
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Clinicians must practice medicine in conformity with regulatory requirements. That is the daily challenge, and those requirements have been founded on medical law.

This book describes clinical law. A series of 60 brief commentaries are described, each setting out an important clinical legal case decided in an English court. The clinical relevance of the judgement is explained, together with how it should influence the care of the patient. Clinical readers are given skeleton guidance by their regulators, but almost no specific tuition as to how to apply it. This book sets out how clinical law has been applied in numerous cases, and thus provides guidance which is directly applicable to every clinician’s practice in the United Kingdom.

Although most court cases concentrate on the medical aspects of patients’ care, the common currencies within clinical law touch on all clinical professions. Doctors, Physiotherapists and others take consent every day; pharmacists must protect confidentiality; speech therapists consider the capacity of their patients; nurses wrestle with discussions relating to whether their patients wish to be resuscitated

The book is directed at the eight regulated clinical professions, the lawyers who deal with disputes, and all potential patients.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1. Adults who refuse blood

2. Discussing the prospects of cardiopulmonary resuscitation

3. What should be disclosed when seeking consent

4. Deprivation in Essex

5. The first glimpse of a duty to warn?

6. Can a patient choose her surgeon?

7. Sentiments

8. Unwise decisions

9. Consulting relatives

10. Doctrine of double effect

11. Needle Phobia

12. Candid over complications

13. Examining patients with their consent

14. Covert treatment

15. Can blood be compulsorily administered under the Mental Health Act 1983?

16. Genetic confidentiality

17. Refusing hospital discharge

18. Consent for a cannula

19. Changing direction in severe anorexia

20. Be informed; then disclose

21. Withdrawing treatment in a young man

22. The value of going to court

23. Articulating best interests

24. Loyal Friends

25. Apply to court?

26. Disclosing the miniscule risk when seeking consent

27. Obtaining consent

28. Deprivation of Liberty; the story so far

29. Falling from hospital property

30. Gross negligence manslaughter: Perhaps better, "betrayal of trust"?

31. Interpretation

32. A narrow dispute

33. A right to be told?

34. "But all life is an experiment"

35. Avoid discouraging patients from waiting to be treated

36. Mixed messages

37. It is for clinicians to identify foreseeable risks

38. Separating twins

39. Body modification

40. Seeking the approval of a court for paternity testing

41. Children refusing treatment

42. Can we rely on our Advance Decisions?

43. Is there a role for ‘next of kin’?

44. Preaching to patients

45. Deceiving patients

46. Determining incapacity

47. Reasons for refusing blood?

48. Justifying the termination of a pregnancy

49. The feasibility of a covert Caesarean section

50. Communicating risk: Words or numbers?

51. Stark compulsion in grave circumstances

52. Going to court too soon

53. Best interests in the absence of suffering

54. Patients value candour

55. Informed Consent & Informed Dissent: Two sides of a coin?

56. Parental consent for their child’s deprivation of liberty.

57. Vulnerable with capacity

58. Compulsory treatment for diabetes

59. Approving palliation

60. Acquiescence; not consent

61. Making clinical legal decisions

About the Author

Mr Robert A. Wheeler is a Consultant Neonatal and Paediatric Surgeon Associate Medical Director for the Department of Clinical Law, University Hospital of Southampton, Southampton Hampshire.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Medical Law & Legislation
MEDICAL / General
MEDICAL / Clinical Medicine