The Supreme Court judgement in ‘Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board’ has caused a change in the law concerning the duty of doctors on disclosure of information to patients regarding risks. The law now requires a doctor to take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment, and of any reasonable alternative or variant treatments. Are doctors totally removed from the protective shield even if the practice is accepted by a reasonable body of medical opinion previously laid down by ‘Bolam’ with the recent Supreme Court decision in the ‘Montgomery’ case? This paper questions whether the ‘Bolam’ principle needs to be discarded or re-interpreted in the modern context of health care. Adopting ‘patient-centred’ care to unfold the ‘significant risks’ attached to patients would align with the evolving changes in medical law. It should be the changing context of health care driving the evolving change of law.
- MEDICAL LAW
- MEDICAL ETHICS
- PRIMARY CARE
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Contributors The paper is based on a review of cases and an analysis from medical and legal perspectives for comparative study. AL is the sole contributor and will act as guarantor of the paper.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.