An introduction to negligence

21 November 2011
Volume 12, Issue 4

There are several strands to an action in negligence. The author addresses each one in turn.


An action of negligence may be taken against a practitioner if the practitioner acts (or fails to act) in breach of his/her duty of care towards the patient. As discussed in a recent article (Blakeney 2011), there are several strands to an action in negligence. Firstly, there needs to be a duty of care between the practitioner and the patient; secondly, the practitioner needs to be shown to have breached that duty; and thirdly, the breach of the duty needs to have caused the patient loss. I will take these issues in turn. Please note that, although the examples given are fictitious, parts of them may be drawn from real examples, embellished where necessary.

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