Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board

The claimant, who had diabetes, brought proceedings for negligence against the defendant health authority. She contended that, had she been told of the options available at the birth of her baby, she would have chosen a caesarian section, rather than to go ahead with a vaginal birth, which had resulted in injury to him. In allowing the claimant's appeal, the Supreme Court held that, among other things, the approach of the court in such cases, previously governed by the case of Sidaway v Board of Governors of the Bethlem Royal Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital ([1985] 1 All ER 643), was to be reconsidered. There could be no doubt that it had been incumbent on the claimants' obstetrician to advise her of the risks if she were to have her baby by vaginal delivery, and to discuss with her the alternative of delivery by caesarian section. In the circumstances, the claimant would probably have elected to be delivered of the baby by caesarian section.

Category: