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Free «The Law Of Torts: Tort Of Negligence» Essay Sample

Tort of negligence is a serious crime which makes sense in a civilized society where the quality of services and duty of care are well developed. The case with a “careless dentist” is under discussion as it touches upon different cases similar in terms of causative-consecutive line of events. In fact, the rule of res ipsa loquitur is applied due to the inaccurate actions by the dentist. Obviously, the truth and the letter of the law are on the side of the patient irrespectively of what tricks the dentist’s lawyers could manage to come up with.

First of all, the truth of tort negligence (as in many cases of crimes) should be based on a precedent. In this case the history of law has plenty of cases referred exclusively to tort of negligence and duty of care. Responsibility of those who are in charge of the provision of high-quality services cannot be disputed so that to reduce it. A doctor with a license should be responsible for everything he/she does as the lives and destinies of his/her patients depend on the correctness of actions.



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Tort law presupposes that if the relationships between two individuals are disrupted by a cause of physical harm and moral distress and it was not mentioned in the list of services provided, then it is a case of criminal responsibility. Moreover, there is always a contractual relationship between a dentist and a patient, and “it is important, however, not to lose sight of the contractual relationship between hospital and patient as the source of the underlying duty, and therefore of the limits that prevent the negligence concept in this concept from becoming an all-purpose tort” (Best and Barnes, 2007, p. 543). Hence, there is an evidence of obligations on the part of the dentist.

On the other side, there is an evidence of tort of negligence as the patient suffered considerable swelling and had abdominal pain thereafter. This cannot be ignored as it is an appalling confirmation of bad services and inability to foresee them by the dentist in no time. In fact, it is a case when a representative of medical services not only caused pain to the patient but did not take care of the post-operational care which gives grounds for the plaintiff to ask for a considerable punishment for the defendant including cash consideration (Lunney & Oliphant, 2007). However, the dentist is “lucky” because the patient is still alive.

There are different cases to be taken in order to plead the dentist guilty. One of them is Newman & others v United Kingdom Medical Research Council (1996) CA. The case touches upon the experiment held between 1951 and 1985 for two thousand children when they were treated with doses of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and it resulted in that many of them died (Sixth Form Law, 2008). It was a horrible case when the law and its representatives were trying to discover the nature of the drug and its safety for health per se. However, the deaths of children seemed to be taken for granted.

Another case of tort of negligence refers to Clunis v Camden & Islington Health Authority (1998) CA when Christopher Clunis was released from the psychiatric hospital with a considerable mental disease and then killed a stranger (Clunis v Camden & Islington Health Authority (1998), 1997). It was a case when the hospital authority made a wrong decision with no attention to duty of care. Thus, not Clunis but they were responsible for causing an ominous harm to the society resulted in the life loss. Furthermore, there was no adequate treatment and nobody out of the staff had a mere idea of personal responsibility while releasing Clunis into the society.

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The above mentioned cases are just prerequisites in order to understand the risks and the damage caused by the tort of negligence. It is all about the insufficient treatment and what it provokes if the medical authority is unable to keep a strict eye on its patients. Dental services are one of the most frequently used types of medical services British people take advantage of. Thus, this popularity should be weighed in terms of pros and cons such services have. Back to the initial scenario, the rule of res ipsa loquitur applies to the modern standard of clinical care. It seems that the experience from the past does not teach contemporary dentists what should be done appropriately without any damage to the patient. Once again, it seems as if nobody feels responsibility for what he/she does. However, living in a state governed by the rule of law, such cases should be judged upon and evaluated through the letter of law so that to keep it up in terms of universal justice.

The case of Mahon v Osborne [1939] CA manifests the rule of res ipsa loquitur. However, the outcome was that the patient died and then the post-mortem examination showed the essence of a swab in the patient’s body (Sixth Form Law, 2008). It goes without saying that this case happened before the World War II. The case under investigation is a modern evidence of the tort of negligence in which the evidence of crime should be established immediately.

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As a conclusion, it should be mentioned that the duty of care lies in the straight-forward use of the medical procedures. The dentist should examine the consistence of the drug before the injection. However, it turned out into a breach of this duty of care. Apparently, it was the dentist’s fault. The poisonous drug could have gotten into the syringe due to possible mismatch of ampoules. Another assumption is that the dentist made an overdose of the drug so that it caused drug side effect. It is closely related to the case of Newman & others v United Kingdom Medical Research Council (1996) CA as they also untested the experimental drug (HGH) with no attention to its possible side effect (Sixth Form Law, 2008). Moreover, the tort is overt as the right of the patient for high-quality licensed services was violated. In turn, it discredits the UK Ministry of Healthcare.

As regards to the dentist’s burden of proof, there might be different statements including unintentional use of poisonous drug or inability to examine it as the dentist made haste due to a huge queue of patients in the waiting room. Nevertheless, the dentist also has a right to prove his position and tell his/her lawyer to come up with some exculpatory evidence of his unintentional action. However, it will not do as the court has more evidences stating that the tort of negligence coincides with the rule of res ipsa loquitur.

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Moreover, the dentist did not inform the patient about the poisonous drug before the injection, so the plaintiff had no idea of what had been injected before filling a tooth. It is also related to the case of AB v Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust [2004] QBD when parents were not informed of that a part of tissue would be extracted from their children’s bodies (Sixth Form Law, 2008). Hence, the dentist’s burden of proof is even more impossible as there are many facts of his/her inconsiderable actions which led to the patient’s health deterioration.


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