Kumaralingam Amirthalingam, ‘The Bolam Standard and Surgical Negligence’

The Supreme Court of Canada’s judgment in Armstrong v Ward is remarkable for its brevity and significant for its impact on the application of the standard of care in surgical negligence cases. Dismissing an appeal from the Court of Appeal of Ontario in two sentences, the Supreme Court endorsed the reasoning of the dissenting judge and restored the trial judge’s decision holding the defendant liable for surgical negligence. This note examines the Court of Appeal’s decision, and the dissenting judgment, which now represents the law in Canada. The legal test for medical negligence in Ontario is the same as that in England, based on Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee. Bolam established that the standard of care of professionals is to be determined by reference to practices accepted as proper by peer professionals – the peer professional standard …

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Kumaralingam Amirthalingam, ‘The Bolam Standard and Surgical Negligence’, Professional Negligence 2021, 37(3), 137-141.

First posted 2021-09-29 13:00:01

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