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Uncertain Causation in Medical Liability

By: Lara Khoury
Media of Uncertain Causation in Medical Liability
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Published: 18-07-2006
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 256
ISBN: 9781841135175
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
RRP: £85.00
Online price : £76.50
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Loren Epson

About Uncertain Causation in Medical Liability

'Proving' the cause of the plaintiff's injury in personal injury litigation often entails significant challenges, particularly when science cannot identify the cause of a biological phenomenon or when the nature of this cause is debatable. This problem is frequently encountered in medical malpractice cases, where the limitations of scientific knowledge are still extensive. Yet judges must decide cases, however uncertain the evidence with regard to proof of causation. Reluctant to leave patients without compensation, courts have in some cases challenged their traditional approach to causation through recourse to such techniques as reliance on factual presumptions and inferences, the concept of loss of chance, and reversal of the burden of proof. This book analyses and criticises the use of these various techniques by the courts of England, Australia, Canada, France, and the civilian Canadian province of Quebec in confronting evidentiary causal difficulties caused by the uncertainties of medical science.

Table Of Contents

Section 1-A Society of Risks and Uncertainty
Section 2-Uncertainty in Medical Malpractice
Section 3-Jurisdictions, Fields of Law, and Methodology
Section 4-Structure
Chapter 1: Problems in the Proof of Causation
Section 1-Proof of Causation
Section 2-Evidence in the Four Jurisdictions
Section 3-The Impact of Scientific Uncertainties on the Proof of Causation
Chapter 2: Flexibility .
Section 1-Importance and Mutability of the Traditional Standards .
Section 2-Flexibility and Independence of the Judiciary .
Section 3-Flexibility in Light of Expert Controversies
Chapter 3: Reversal of the Burden of Proving Causation .
Section 1-Common Law . . .
Section 2-Civil Law . .
Section 3-Critical Analysis .
Chapter 4: Probabilistic Assessment of Damages .
Section 1-Loss of Chance
Section 2-Market-share Liability .
Section 3-Critical Analysis (Loss of Chance)
Chapter 5: Inferences of Causation
Section 1-Inferences and Factual Presumptions . .
Section 2-The Development of Justifications
Section 3-Critical Analysis
Final Analysis and Conclusion
Section 1-General Review .
Section 2-Review of the Critique of the Solutions
Section 3-The Alternative-Cumulative Causes Distinction . .
Section 4-Flexibility and the Evidential Solution
Section 5-Alternative Solutions?


“Khoury's book expertly shows and explains the attempted solutions and their shortcomings with regard to medical liability…” –  Jens M. Scherpe, The Law Quarterly Review - volume 123

“This is a magisterial discussion of the complexities surrounding causal issues in medical negligence cases. It provides a detailed analysis of the courts' approach to these issues in England, Australia, Canada, France and Quebec. The scholarship is thorough and detailed. I could not find a single case or relevant article that was not referred to. The writing is clear and engaging. The reasoning is careful and deep. It is easy to see how the book won the Prix Minerve 2004.” –  Jonathan Herring, Legal Studies, Vol. 27, No. 4

“...thorough and informative..” –  Ken Oliphant, Yearbook of European Tort Law

“This book undertakes a very valuable project in a detailed and thoughtful way…The comparative focus is undoubtedly a strength of the is hard to imagine that anyone would fail to learn something useful from the analysis.” –  Jenny Steele, King's Law Journal, Vol 19, Issue 1

“...Lara Khoury's book will provide lawyers with valuable guidance on proof of causation in such cases.” –  Harold Luntz, Torts Law Journal

“...Khoury has made an interesting contribution to the never-ending academic dissection of this issue...” –  Vaughan Black, Canadian Business Law Journal, Vol 47

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