isbn: 978 1 905895 00 7

hardbound, 600 pages

Publication date: September 2007

Price: £75 / €120 / $150

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Key Medical Issues in Clinical Negligence Cases

edited by Charles Foster, Barrister, Outer Temple Chambers, London and Tutor, Medical Law and Ethics, University of Oxford




  • contributions by pre-eminent medico-legal experts;
  • focus on major medico-legal issues in 22 medical and surgical specialties;
  • practical explanation of relevant anatomy, pathology and medicine/surgery for non-medically qualified readers;
  • discussion of relevant legal and procedural considerations and of issues of consent and counselling.

Anyone involved in a clinical negligence case, whether as claimant, solicitor or barrister, will find themselves confronted with a mass of technical medical language and concepts. It is vital to understand them, and understand them well enough to test your own experts and the experts on the other side. Many a case has failed simply because the parties involved have failed to grapple with the medical technicalities. Finding the necessary technical information has until now involved going to the specialist medical and surgical textbooks. Those textbooks are enormously complex, expensive and inaccessible, and of course are not focussed primarily on medico-legal practice.

In Medical Mistakes eminent experts from the most sued specialities, each of whom has vast experience in the courts, focus on the problems from their specialties which most commonly form the subject of clinical negligence litigation. The obstetric chapter, for example, deals in detail with shoulder dystocia, perineal tears and the other problems which keep obstetricians and their insurers awake at night. Cerebral Palsy has a chapter all of its own. The book further includes an exhaustive glossary of medical and medico-legal terms.

The contributors equip non-medically qualified readers with everything needed to deal authoritatively and sensibly with the medical and surgical elements of clinical negligence litigation. It is the only one-volume book to do so. There are many books which deal well with the procedure and tactics of clinical negligence litigation. But there is no point in being procedurally and tactically impeccable if you are barking scientifically up the wrong tree. This book will make sure that you are not.


  • Barristers and Solicitors
  • Clinical Risk Managers
  • Legal Scholars


  • Introduction
  • The Organisation of the Medical Profession in England and Wales
  • Clinical Genetics
  • Fetal Medicine
  • Obstetric Injuries other than Cerebral Palsy
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Neonatology and Paediatrics
  • Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopaedics
  • Radiology
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • ENT Surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • General Surgery
  • Gynaecology
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Urology
  • Nephrology
  • Cardiology
  • Oncology
  • Dermatology
  • Psychiatry
  • General Practice
  • Glossary
  • Index

The Editor
After reading veterinary medicine and law at Cambridge, Charles Foster held research positions in anaesthesia in Saudi Arabia and comparative anatomy at the Royal College of Surgeons. He was then a research fellow at the Faculty of Law, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, and research assistant to Aharon Barak, Judge (and now President) of the Supreme Court of Israel. He now practises primarily in medical law from Outer Temple Chambers, London WC2. He has written, edited and contributed to many legal books and writes legal articles regularly for many publications. He currently travels a lot to Central Asia where he lectures on many legal topics. He is also a member of the Bar of Ireland and teaches Medical Law and Ethics at the University of Oxford.

The Contributors

Prof.Alan R Aitkenhead BSc, MB, ChB, MD, FRCA, Professor of Anaesthesia, University of Nottingham and Honorary Consultant Anaesthetist University Hospital, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham
Dr. A. Caroline Berry MB, BS, PhD, FRCP, formerly Consultant Clinical Geneticist, Guy’s Hospital, London
Dr. Roger A. Blackwood FRCP, Consultant Cardiologist, Thames Valley Nuffield Hospital, Wexham
Dr. Sarah Burnett MB, BS, MRCP, FRCR, Consultant Radiologist, Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth, London
Alex Chalk BA (Oxon), of the Middle Temple, Barrister, 6 King’s Bench Walk, London
Mr. John R. Cherry MB, BS, FRCS, Honorary Consultant Otolaryngologist, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Blackburn Hospital, Blackburn
Dr. John A. Cotterill BSc, MD, FRCP, formerly Consultant Dermatologist , Leeds General Infirmary
Dr. W.J. Ken Cumming BSc , MD, FRCPI, FRCP, FAE, MEWI, CUEW, Consultant Neurologist, Neuroscience Unit, Alexandra Hospital, Cheadle
Dr Roger Evans FRCP, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, The Emergency Unit, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
Stephen Evans Partner, Hempsons Solicitors
Charles Foster MA (Cantab), Vet MB, MRCVS, of the Inner Temple, Barrister, Outer Temple Chambers, London
Mr. Anthony Johnson MD, FRCOG, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Jessop Hospital for Women, Sheffield
Dr. Stephen Kennedy MA (Oxon), MD, MRCOG, Clinical Reader, Nuffield Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant Gynaecologist, The Women’s Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
Mr. R.S.C. Kerr BSc , MS, FRCS, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford
Miss R. Jane Leitch FRCS, FRCOphth, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children
Dr. Pamela V. Loughna MB, BS, MD, FRCOG, MRCGP, Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics and Honorary Consultant Obstetrician, School of Human Development, Academic Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, City Hospital, Nottingham
Dr. Elisabeth A. MacDonald FRCR , MA , formerly Consultant Oncologist, Guys Hospital and Cromwell Hospital, London, and Harley Street Oncology Unit
Dr Martin A. Mansell MD, FRCP, Consultant Nephrologist, Royal Free and University College Hospitals, London
Mr. Stephen H. Norris MD, FRCS, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield and Honorary Senior Lecturer in Orthopaedics and Trauma, University of Sheffield
Dr. Bernard Riley MBE, BSc, MB, BS, FRCA, Consultant in Adult Critical Care, University Hospital, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham
Dr. Stephen J. Rose MA, MB, BChir, FRCPCH, FRCP, MD, Consultant Paediatrician, Department of Paediatrics, Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham
Dr. Michael F Smith MB, BS, FRCP, FRCPCH, Consultant Paediatrician, Neonatal Unit, Jessop Wing, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Tree Root Walk, Sheffield
Mr. John H. Scurr BSc , MB, BS, FRCS, Consultant Surgeon, The Lister Hospital, London
Mr. James R.H. Scurr BSc , MB , BS
Dr. Trevor Turner MD, FRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist, Department of Psychological Medicine, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London and The City and Hackney Centre for Mental Health, Homerton Hospital, London
Mr. Christopher M. Ward BSc , MA, FRCS, Honorary Consultant in Plastic Surgery, The Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford
Mr. P.H.L. Worth FRCS, Consultant Urologist, Institute of Urology, University College London Hospitals, London
Dr. Gavin Young MA (Oxon), MB, BS, DRCOG, FRCGP, The Surgery, Penrith

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