Bolitho test A legal test that modified the 1957 Bolam test, which the English courts had been using to determine medical negligence by a doctor or nurse. The House of Lords explained that a defendant cannot argue that their breach of duty did not cause the harm because they would also have committed some other breach. Essential Cases: Tort Law provides a bridge between course textbooks and key case judgments. Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority The case. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Bolitho v City and Hackney HA [1998] AC 232. In 1957, The Bolam Test had stipulated that no doctor can be found guilty of negligence if they are deemed to have acted “in accordance with a responsible body of medical opinion.” The case arose out of the admitted failure by the Defendant Trust to diagnose the Claimant’s husband’s lung cancer; accordingly it was concerned with factual causation. [4], Learn how and when to remove this template message, Bolam v. Friern Hospital Management Committee, British and Irish Legal Information Institute, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bolitho_v_City_and_Hackney_HA&oldid=984030901, Articles needing additional references from November 2009, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 17 October 2020, at 19:04. 1. A doctor was summoned but did not attend as her bleep was not working due to low battery. The claimant argued that this could have been avoided if the child had been intubated. BOLITHO (ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF PATRICK NIGEL BOLITHO) (DECEASED) (A.P.) JISCBAILII_CASES_TORT Bolitho v. City and Hackney Health Authority [1997] UKHL 46; [1998] AC 232; [1997] 4 All ER 771; [1997] 3 WLR 1151 (13th November, 1997) HOUSE OF LORDS Lord Browne-Wilkinson Lord Slynn of Hadley Lord NolanLord Hoffmann Lord Clyde OPINIONS OF THE LORDS OF APPEAL FOR JUDGMENT IN THE CAUSE BOLITHO (ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF PATRICK NIGEL BOLITHO) He was admitted into St Bartholomew's Hospital and was placed under the care of Dr Horn (the senior registrar) and Dr Rodger. Jones RD. "[3] One of the experts stated that Patrick's recovery after each episode did not show a progressive respiratory collapse and that there was only a small risk of total respiratory failure.[3]. Mr Jones argued that the obstetrician was negligent on the basis of the test in Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority [1998] AC 232, refined in Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee [1957] 1 WLR 582. Blyth v Bloomsbury Health Authority (1993) 4 Med LR 151, 157. Buchanan, Alec. That decision would have been supported by a body of professional opinion. In the case of Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority, the House of Lords has decided on the test to be applied in cases of what I would call "secondary negligence". The claim was dismissed as causation must be proved to bring a claim in negligence and there was no causation here. [2], The House of Lords held that "a defendant cannot escape liability by saying that the damage would have occurred in any event because he would have committed some other breach of duty thereafter". Judgement for the case Bolitho v City & Hackney HA V was in hospital and suffered respiratory problems twice and recovered, the doctor having failed to turn up. This is exemplified by cases such as Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority, Chester v Afshar, and Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board. JISCBAILII_CASES_TORT Bolitho v. City and Hackney Health Authority [1997] UKHL 46; [1998] AC 232; [1997] 4 All ER 771; [1997] 3 WLR 1151 (13th November, 1997) HOUSE OF LORDS Lord Browne-Wilkinson Lord Slynn of Hadley Lord NolanLord Hoffmann Lord Clyde OPINIONS OF THE LORDS OF APPEAL FOR JUDGMENT IN THE CAUSE BOLITHO (ADMINISTRATRIX OF THE ESTATE OF PATRICK NIGEL BOLITHO) Patrick Bolitho, a two-year-old boy, was suffering from croup. Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority [1997] UKHL 46. This case document summarizes the facts and decision in Bolitho v City and Hackney HA [1998] AC 232. The aim of this paper is to consider whether the decision of the House of Lords in Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority [1997] 4 All.E.R. The case of Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority dates back to 1997 and concerned the treatment of a sick child in hospital. The test is based on a long line of cases dating back more than a hundred years, but it takes its authority in modern times The professional opinion relied upon cannot be unreasonable or illogical. Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority1 IN recent years, considerable criticism has been levelled at the test for determining the standard of care in negligence with respect to persons within the medical profession. Jurisdiction: England and Wales This case cites: (This list may be incomplete) This case is cited by: (This list may be incomplete) Leading Case Last Update: 10 March 2020 Ref: 135010 br>. 1. You can filter on reading intentions from the list, as well as view them within your profile.. Read the guide × Bolitho v City & Hackney HA – Case Summary. The doctor on shift, was requested to deal with the child’s breathing abnormalities. This month we examine Bolitho v City of Hackney Health Authority, 1993. See also Bolam principle. Five of them said they would have intubated Patrick after the second episode, let alone the first. So, if failure to intubate had been negligent, the defendant could not have claimed that their failure to attend did not cause the child’s death because they would have negligently allowed the child to die even if they had attended. It follows the Bolam test for professional negligence, and addresses the interaction with the concept of causation. A doctor was summoned but failed to attend, and the child suffered cardiac arrest and brain damage. However, following each episode Patrick seemed well and was 'jumping' around. Facts: A 2-year-old boy arrived at the hospital experiencing breathing problems. Patrick had two respiratory episodes where he went pale and his breathing became "noisy". This case was brought by the mother of Patrick Bolitho, a young boy who died following a cardiac arrest in hospital that resulted in severe brain damage. Facts: A 2-year-old boy arrived at the hospital experiencing breathing problems. Her two-year-old son had been admitted to hospital with … This means that the court must be satisfied that the experts directed their minds to the risks and benefits of the practice and reached a defensible conclusion. Type Legal Case Document Web address ... ICLR: Appeal Cases. In his opinion Lord Browne-Wilkinson accepted the principle that a judge would have to consider whether a body of medical opinion was logical, but decided that the opinion used by the defence in Bolitho was indeed logical. Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority. Bolitho v City & Hackney Health Authority [1997] 3 WLR 1151 House of Lords A 2 year old child was admitted to hospital suffering from breathing difficulties. Why Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority is important. Jones RD. It follows the Bolam test for professional negligence, and addresses the interaction with the concept of causation. [1997] UKHL 46 Expert witness In this medical negligence case, the House of Lords considered how expert evidence as to a body of professional opinion in a professional negligence case should be dealt with. Hong Kong Med J. The case was settled before trial. If Dr Horn had come to see Patrick, she would not have intubated him. “Mental Capacity, Legal Competence and Consent.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 920: 415-420. The Bolam test says that an action cannot be a breach of duty if it conforms with a reasonable body of professional opinion. Langslow A. PMID: 10568414 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority: HL 24 Jul 1997. Bolam sets out that a doctor is not negligent if they have acted in accordance with a responsible body of opinion. Judgement for the case Bolitho v City & Hackney HA V was in hospital and suffered respiratory problems twice and recovered, the doctor having failed to turn up. 17th Jun 2019 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team Jurisdiction(s): UK Law. From Bolam to Bolitho: unravelling medical protectionism Christopher Stone January 2011 Introduction In 1990/91 the cost of clinical negligence claims to the NHS was estimated at around £52 million1.Twenty years later, by 2009/10, the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) The child’s mother sued for negligence, arguing that the child should have been seen and intubated. Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority House of Lords. Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority The case. Skip to content. Search Browse; Resources Main arguments in this case: A medical professional can be held negligent even if the standard of care he or she applied in treating a patient was in accordance with the other professional in his or her field. References: Gazette 04-Dec-1996, Times 27-Nov-1996, [1996] EWCA Civ 938, [1996] 35 BMRLR 39 Links: Bailii Coram: Brooke LJ Ratio: The choice of the telephone as a means of alerting and re-assuring people, who had received treatment from a health worker later found to be HIV+, was proper. Areas of applicable law: Tort law – Duty of care – professional negligence. My Lords, This appeal raises two questions relating to … The test is based on a long line of cases dating back more than a hundred years, but it takes its authority in modern times Chappel v Hart (1998) 156 ALR 517. A legal judgement (Bolitho v. City and Hackney Health Authority 1997) that stated that a case cannot be defended on the basis of a current practice that is not reasonable or logical. References: Gazette 04-Dec-1996, Times 27-Nov-1996, [1996] EWCA Civ 938, [1996] 35 BMRLR 39 Links: Bailii Coram: Brooke LJ Ratio: The choice of the telephone as a means of alerting and re-assuring people, who had received treatment from a health worker later found to be HIV+, was proper. Aust Nurs J. However, on the facts, it was not negligent to fail to intubate the child. Therefore, Dr. Horn's argument was that her breach of duty did not cause Patrick's death. View all articles and reports associated with Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority [1997] UKHL 46. Pearce v United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust [1999] 48 BMLR 118. The case of Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority dates back to 1997 and concerned the treatment of a sick child in hospital. Bolitho v City & Hackney HA – Case Summary. Cases such as this one demonstrate the reluctance of the courts to reject the principles established by Bolam. 2002 Jun;8(3):222-3. The doctor argued that even if she had attended to the child, she would not have intubated him. In this medical negligence case, the House of Lords considered how expert evidence as to a body of professional opinion in a professional negligence case should be dealt with. According to that test, which has been criticised by academic commentators, a doctor would not have acted negligently if his actions conformed to a practice supported by a body of professional opinion. If the opinion were illogical, then the action would still be a breach of duty. 1999 Jun;6(11):36-7. [3] "A young child does not tolerate a tube easily and the child unless sedated tends to remove it. Chester v Afshar [2004] UKHL 41; [2005] 1 AC 134; [2004] 3 WLR 927; [2004] 4 All ER 587 HL. It was agreed that the only course of action to prevent the damage was to have the boy intubated. In Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority, the House of Lords followed and applied the ‘Bolam principle’. Legal versus medical causation. The defendant (the doctor’s employer) presented expert evidence that other doctors might have done the same. James Watt. The case arose out of the admitted failure by the Defendant Trust to diagnose the Claimant’s husband’s lung cancer; accordingly it was concerned with factual causation. City and Hackney Health Authority continued (back to preceding text) Where, as in the present case, a breach of a duty of care is proved or admitted, the burden still lies on the plaintiff to prove that such breach caused the injury suffered: Bonnington Castings Ltd. v. Wardlaw [1956] A.C. 613; Wilsher v. It follows the Bolam test for professional negligence, and addresses the interaction with the concept of causation. 1. The House of Lords noted that the courts are only likely to find that a practice is not logical or defensible in rare cases. (APPELLANT) v. CITY AND HACKNEY HEALTH AUTHORITY (RESPONDENTS) ON 13 NOVEMBER 1997. Share this: Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn WhatsApp Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority [1998] AC 232. The doctor did not to attend to him. MENU. First Published January 1, 1999 Research Article. . Bolitho v City and Hackney Health Authority [1997] 4 All ER 771 Facts: The plaintiff was the mother of the victim, a two year old child, who suffered serious brain damage following respiratory failure and eventually died at the defendant's hospital. From Bolam to Bolitho: unravelling medical protectionism Christopher Stone January 2011 Introduction In 1990/91 the cost of clinical negligence claims to the NHS was estimated at around £52 million1.Twenty years later, by 2009/10, the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) City and Hackney Health Authority continued (back to preceding text) Where, as in the present case, a breach of a duty of care is proved or admitted, the burden still lies on the plaintiff to prove that such breach caused the injury suffered: Bonnington Castings Ltd. v. 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