Therefore, for the starting line of this discussion, we will first see the approach taken bythe court to the effect that “a doctor knows best” and as we go along we will look intoselected landmark cases enumerating the change in the court’s approach.Basically, in examining the approach taken by the courts with regard to medical expertopinion, we will look through several landmark cases and make out the approach taken inthe different cases by asking these common questions when dealing with each and everycase ;–
Whether the court will generally accept and adopt an expert opinion withoutmuch reservation, or;
Whether the court will still retain their power to judge based on the standardthey ought to be reasonable, with expert opinion merely serve as assistance to thedecision, or;
Whether any balance was strike between the two.
BOLAM V FRIERN HOSPITAL (1957)
The Bolam test has long been applied when a standard of care required by doctors had been of concern. In the period where the Bolam test was prevalently used, the judge willhardly interfere or impose any standard on medical profession. The negligence in themedical profession is not for the judges to determine, but by fellow medical practitioners.Accordingly, medical profession just as any other profession will have different body of opinion to what standard of care or treatment is appropriate for certain circumstances. Aslong as the doctor had followed one of the responsible body of opinion, a doctor cannot be held negligent.In the Bolam case, in the course of an electro-convulsive therapy, the patient was notadministered with any relaxant drugs or any manual restraints except a support the chin
We will be adopting the manner subheading are used in the article, “Does doctor alwaysknows best? The recent trend in medical negligence”, for flow and easier understanding.