Faculty provides “great opportunity” for examining the Doctor’s Dilemma

06 Jul

Discussing the Doctor's Dilemma were Clare Connelly, Dr Rob Hendry and Vinit Khurana


THE week of the 70th birthday of the NHS saw a timely discussion between the medical and legal professions on holding doctors to account.

The event was staged by the Faculty and featured two members, Clare Connelly and Vinit Khurana, with Dr Rob Hendry, Medical Director of the Medical Protection Society.

The speakers explored THE DOCTOR’S DILEMMA and the tensions between holding the medical profession to account, while promoting a “no blame culture” in the NHS.

The debate ranged from the classic legal test of medical negligence in the Hunter v Hanley case of 1955, to a change in society where, as little as a generation ago, doctors were given demigod status and rarely questioned but are now very much part of a litigious culture. There was also a look at the implications of the case of Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba who received a two-year suspended jail sentence after she was convicted in the criminal courts of the manslaughter by gross negligence of a six-year-old boy at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Dr Hendry said: “I think this event was a great opportunity for the two professions of medicine and law to discuss the issues around how we have a fair method of holding the medical profession to account – a method that balances the interests of the profession and the public.

“It was very well attended, with a well-informed and inter-active audience.”