Case studies

Patient request for cessation of ventilation

15 November 2010

A young patient with motor neurone disease requested cessation of ventilation. The case received a great deal of publicity at the time and it is a significant judgment.

Image of a prosthetic hip in x-ray
Acute angle

1 August 2010

Premature loosening of a prosthetic hip joint was not due to sub-optimal positioning

Image of diabetes test
A reluctant diabetic

1 August 2010

A GP is concerned about a patient who does not engage in ongoing monitoring

Man checking emails on phones
A late night caller

1 May 2009

A GP sought help from the MDU in dealing with an ex-patient whose unwanted telephone calls to the GP’s home had begun to take on a threatening tone.

Image of a woman sexually assaulted
Alleged assault

1 May 2009

A GP locum sought help from the MDU after being made the subject of a complaint alleging that he had touched a patient inappropriately during a physical examination.

Small print and magnifying glass
Don't forget the small print

1 May 2009

A junior doctor sought help from the MDU after being referred to the GMC by a hospital trust. He had inadvertently failed to disclose a prior caution and a conviction where requested to do so on an application form.

Granting a deathbed wish

1 May 2009

A GP sought advice from the MDU following a request made by a dying patient that sensitive but relevant clinical information be withheld from his death certificate. The GP was sympathetic to the patient’s wishes but was concerned that complying with the request might not be permissible.

Not to be tolerated

1 May 2009

A practice manager sought advice from the MDU about the possibility of removing from the practice list a patient who had been racially abusive about one of the doctors.

Once bitten

1 May 2009

A GP sought advice from the MDU after a prescription error resulted in a patient taking the wrong drug. Although the GP issued an apology the patient later brought a claim alleging that the drug had contributed to her involvement in a road traffic accident.

Wrong blood

1 May 2009

A junior doctor sought help from the MDU following an adverse incident on the labour ward. The doctor had inadvertently mixed up blood samples taken from two patients, resulting in a ‘near miss’ when one of the patients later required a blood transfusion.