Hong Kong Medical Law Brief - December 2016 edition

Welcome to the latest edition of the Hong Kong Medical Law Brief.

In this edition we start by discussing the role Inquests play in patient safety and improving patient care. Continuing with the theme of patient care, we also discuss the correct approach for doctors to follow in deciding whether a particular course of treatment is in a patient’s best interests, by exploring how the decision of the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court in Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v James has been applied in practice.

In our case law round up we consider the United Kingdom’s High Court case of DS (By Mother & Litigation Friend FS) v Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust (2016). This follows on from our earlier article regarding the case of Williams v Bermuda Hospitals Board (2016), where the Privy Council of the United Kingdom affirmed that in order to succeed on causation in a medical negligence claim where there are cumulative causative factors, claimants need not prove the negligent act was, on the balance of probabilities, the cause of the injury, but must show that the negligence made a material contribution to the injury. In DS v Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Foundation Trust the High Court refused to accept that a three minute delay in management of a delivery made a material contribution to the baby’s cognitive difficulties and the claim failed.

Finally, we discuss the Hong Kong Government’s Electronic Health Record Sharing System, with our analysis of the key aspects of the system that doctors should be aware of.

As always I hope you enjoy reading this edition of the Medical Law Brief and welcome your feedback.

In the meantime, we take this opportunity, on behalf of the Kennedys’ healthcare team, to wish you a very merry festive season.

In this issue: