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A Doctor's Duty to Advise: Raul Guiu Gallardo v Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust - Paul Sankey, Enable Law

23/01/18. Raul Guiu Gallardo v Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – The Supreme Court in Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board redefined a doctor's duty in advising patients and obtaining consent to treatment. The new measure of adequate advice was what a reasonable patient like this patient would expect to be told. It was no longer the Bolam test of what a responsible body of doctors would advise.

A number of cases have explored the implications of Montgomery and 2017 in particular has been a busy year in the world of medical consent. The most recent case is Gallardo v Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Gallardo raises some interesting questions about the scope of the duty and in particular how it relates to advice, not just about future treatment, but to communicating diagnosis to the patient. It also considers when advice should be given and whether the duty of advise is one which can be delegated.

The circumstances

Mr Gallardo developed a gastric ulcer in November 2000. He was treated at Charing Cross Hospital. In January 2001 his symptoms recurred. He returned to Charing Cross. On 30th January 2001 a CT scan was said to show a probable gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST). On 31st January 2001 he underwent a gastrectomy and the tumour was removed. His surgeon was Mr Theodorou (who sadly had since died)...

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