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Keeping pace with advances in medicine

By Richard James

Boundaries are constantly being pushed as the healthcare system tries to keep up with the demands of an expanding population that have ever greater expectations of what is possible. Whilst new developments and innovations are usually much needed, and often very exciting, they do not come without risks. Moral and ethical dilemmas are common while lawmakers and regulators are on constant watch for issues...

The standards and accessibility of healthcare services can differ greatly around the world. Immediate and advanced care is taken for granted in many developed nations while resources and even basic care may be difficult to access in developing countries. Regardless of whether a territory is developed or developing, healthcare services need continued support in order that they can keep improving services, advancing standards and meeting the needs of patients.

The vast majority of professionals in the health system are motivated by the need to meet a high standard of patient care and want to create a safe environment where this is possible. Nevertheless, humans are fallible and mistakes do happen. Sometimes these mistakes can be rectified, perhaps with another operation or alternative treatment. However, healthcare professionals need to be aware that negligence during care and treatment can have a significant impact.

In order to keep a finger on the pulse of developments in healthcare QBE this month launches QBE Health Check. This new bulletin will help keep our clients informed of recent legal cases, regulatory and legislative changes as well as providing expert commentary on how they might affect the healthcare industry. 

In the first issue we have an in-depth look at recent legal cases that have shed light on time limits when pursuing medical negligence claims; and the value of claims where existing injuries are worsened by negligent treatment. We also round up the latest developments in case law and legislative developments.

We look at womb transplants after a clinical trial was given the go-ahead in the UK. We also examine the possibility of a second chance at life that cryonics may offer and the consequent practical, psychological, legal and moral questions such technology would ask.

More information about QBE Medical Malpractice