Future Healthcare

Plea to stop criminalising doctors

A leading lawyer in the healthcare sector has condemned the public and prosecutors for putting doctors on such a high pedestal that any error will inevitably cause them to fall below the perception of acceptable practice.  

Bertie Leigh

Hempsons solicitor Bertie Leigh said: ‘People devoted to their profession should not be criminalised if things go wrong, particularly when dealing with high-risk work where patients do die.’ 

He told a London Consultants Association meeting that gross negligence manslaughter (GNM) should only be considered when doctors have gone outside of their care remit and abandoned their principal professional duty of care.  

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