Unsolicited telephone calls misusing our name - We do not nuisance cold call -
Have a question? Call us on 0800 1979 345
This article was published on August 3rd, 2017
Courts have ruled that medical practitioners who do not carry out routine tests cannot be expected to foresee fatal symptoms and will not be punished for clinical negligence.
The ruling comes after an optometrist who failed to identify a schoolboy’s fatal condition had her manslaughter conviction overturned by the Court of Appeal.
The optometrist did not spot that her patient had swollen optic discs, which is a symptom of fluid on the brain.
The boy died 5 months after the consultation and the optometrist was handed a 2 year suspended sentence, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.
However, judges quashed the woman’s conviction as they deemed that whilst there had been a “serious breach of duty,” it was not severe enough to be classed as gross negligence manslaughter.
One of the three judges presiding over the case said that it could not have been possible for the optometrist to have known that the schoolboy was suffering from a long-term condition when she conducted a routine eye test.
He also said that should the original conviction be upheld “this would fundamentally undermine the established legal test of foreseeability in gross negligence manslaughter which requires proof of a ‘serious and obvious risk of death’ at the time of breach.”
He also added that people within the medical profession would suffer if the original conviction had been upheld, as they would be eligible for penalisation should they fail to carry out a routine eye or blood test.
The parents of the deceased schoolboy argue that “this case now opens the gates for medical practitioners to operate outside of the standard at which they are required to perform, without full accountability or responsibility to uphold their duty of care.”
During the trial, the optometrist claimed she was shown the wrong images of the schoolboy’s previous retinal scan which showed significant swelling of the optic nerve.
In July 2012 the young boy was sent home from school after complaining of feeling ill. Barely 6 hours later he passed away.
The optometrist has not practiced since 2013 and remains under an interim suspension order by the General Optical Council (GOC) which is due to expire next year.
A spokesperson for the GOC said that they were ‘aware of the Court of Appeal’s decision to overturn the conviction’ and that the GOC was giving the matter due consideration.
If you have suffered a delay in diagnosis, misdiagnosis or have undergone a procedure that has directly resulted in the condition affecting the eye, you may need to consider an ophthalmology compensation claim.
An ophthalmic negligence claim can be a complicated process and so it is vital that you select the right solicitor.
Our dedicated clinical negligence team are specialists in this field and are prepared to advise you through each step of the process.
If you feel you may be eligible to make a claim, call us for free today on 0800 1979 345 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our team will call you back at a time that suits you.
This website privacy notice sets out how Thorneycroft Solicitors uses and protects any information that you give Thorneycroft Solicitors when you use this website.
Thorneycroft Solicitors is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
Thorneycroft Solicitors may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 01/05/2018.
What we collect
We may collect the following information:
We will collect the information directly from you via completion of our enquiry form on the website.
What we do with the information we gather
We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular for the following reasons:
We will also collect and process your personal data if you have consented to receiving marketing in respect of our services. You are able to unsubscribe or withdraw your consent at any time by emailing [email protected] or writing to ‘Marketing’ at Thorneycroft Solicitors, 9a Bridge Street Mills, Bridge Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 6QA.
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.
If you do not instruct us in relation to your legal matter, your personal details will be retained for a period of 12 months.
If we are instructed in relation to your legal matter, we will keep it in line with our data retention periods. Details of our retention period for your legal matter can be found within our Client Care Letter and/or Terms of Business, under the heading file retention.
Links to other websites
Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.
You can set preferences for how Google advertises to you using the Google Ad Preferences page, and if you want to you can opt out of interest-based advertising entirely by cookie settings or permanently using a browser plugin.×