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Fears of professional negligence claims hinder cancer cures

The well known advertising mogul, Maurice Saatchi has said that too many doctors are scared of being sued if they go against what is ‘normal’ procedure and then something goes wrong. The way current laws stand there is no protection for doctors who choose to go with innovative practices. He says that this is holding back the cure for many cancers, particularly gynaecological cancers, which last year took the life of his wife.

In a move to protect doctors from professional negligence claims Lord Saatchi has launched a Private Member’ Bill to give them a defence when they wish to use more innovate procedures in the hope of curing an individual. This forms part of the Medical Innovation Bill that Saatchi began work on last year to bring more innovation to the industry. He hopes for ‘responsible innovation’ as a separate thing to ‘reckless experimentation’ and believes that this will help improve the survival rate of cancers, like ovarian, which have not improved in 40 years.

Legal experts and medical professionals are backing the move and Professor Alan Ashworth, chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, said:

“I fully support Lord Saatchi’s Bill which highlights an important issue. If we are to improve outcomes for cancer patients it is essential that clinicians are free to innovate as long as appropriate safeguards are in place.”

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. 

Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with litigation and professional negligence Solicitors in Guildford and across the country.