Medicine, Malpractice and Misapprehensions  book cover
1st Edition

Medicine, Malpractice and Misapprehensions

ISBN 9780415428095
Published January 25, 2008 by Routledge-Cavendish
240 Pages

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Book Description

Analyzing the level of claims for clinical negligence in the light of the most recent trends and discovering whether there is indeed a litigation crisis in healthcare, this book is a topical and compelling exploration of healthcare and doctor-patient relationships.

The author:

  • identifies and analyzes the growing pressures on doctors in modern society, placing their role in context
  • explores some of the myths surrounding media claims about malpractice
  • considers the practice of ‘defensive medicine’ and the difference between defensive practices and sensible risk management
  • examines external pressures, such as political interference with clinical practice in the form of target-setting and what might be described as a culture of creeping privatization of healthcare.

Covering the topics of medicine and the media and the causes of occupational stress among doctors, this volume is a must read for all students of medical law and medical ethics.

Table of Contents

1. Setting the Scene  2. The Role of the Media  3. Investigating Doctors  4. Major Restructuring in the NHS  5. Responses to Recent Public Inquiries  6. The Medical Litigation Problem  7. Regulatory Frameworks and Professional Discipline  8. Responses to Developing Technology  9. Major Legislative Changes  10. Changes in Society  11. The Impact on Doctors  12. Solutions

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Professor Vivienne Harpwood is Director of the Centre for Medico-Legal Studies, based at Cardiff University Law School, and is also a barrister with experience in practice. Her main research interests are medical law and the law of tort, and she has published extensively in these areas. In 1987 she established the LLM (Legal Aspects of Medical Practice) degree course at Cardiff University, which attracts students from all over the world.


'... a thorough examination of many of the nuances surrounding the contemporary culture of compensation in the UK.' - Christopher A. Riddle, Law and Politics Book Review, Vol. 18 No. 9 (September 2008)

'This timely and useful contribution to the growing literature on "compensation culture" focuses on the healthcare sector and seeks to account for the large increase in the number of clinical negligence claims in the last 30 or more years...Harpwood does a good job of setting out the facts for her intended readership, which encompasses healthcare professionals as well as medical lawyers, and can be applauded for putting together a readable and informative volume' - European Tort Law 2007