The pivotal causal factor in a major medical negligence claim hinged on a typing error, where "1b" became "16", causing two important letters referring a single mother to a breast clinic to go undelivered.
The subsequent failure of the GP, or any staff at his surgery, to make follow-up investigations into the woman's failure return to return to the clinics, held in 2000, has led him to admit liability for a "breach of duty".
The woman's breast cancer was finally fully diagnosed late in 2001, but by this time it had spread to her bones and subsequently proved unresponsive to intensive chemotherapy. She died in 2003.
Despite defence evidence stating that the woman's attendance at the clinics and an earlier cancer diagnosis would only have increased her life expectancy to around six months, the judge at the medical negligence claim hearing based his ruling on further evidence of "sound research", by the country's leading oncologists, which stated that early diagnosis would have offered the woman a 92 per cent chance of living a further ten years.
The claim for compensation was brought against medical insurers for the doctor, from Mawbey Brough Medical Centre in Lambeth, by the woman's 16-year-old son who was made an orphan at age eight as a result of his mother's death.
Published on 2011-03-17 10:07:00
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