Chapter

The Duty of Care in Obstetrics and Midwifery

John Seymour

in Childbirth and the Law

Published in print July 2000 | ISBN: 9780198264682
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682759 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198264682.003.0012
The Duty of Care in Obstetrics and Midwifery

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Chapter 10 showed that the application of the principles of tort law in cases of obstetric negligence has presented complex problems. In particular, while negligence law requires proof of a breach of a duty of care as the first step in a successful damages claim, defining the duty borne by those who provide antenatal and perinatal care is difficult. This chapter offers two definitions of this duty and explores some of the implications of adopting them. Before this task is undertaken, it is necessary to refer to the changing social climate in which doctors and midwives must discharge the obligations the law imposes on them. This climate is likely to affect the way in which the principles determining their liability will be applied.

Keywords: duty of care; tort law; antenatal care; perinatal care; social climate; liability

Chapter.  18170 words. 

Subjects: Medical and Healthcare Law

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