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Diamond v Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWCA Civ 585, [2019] All ER (D) 53 (Apr) - Laura Johnson, 1 Chancery Lane

06/06/19. The Court of Appeal upheld the first instance decision that although a surgeon who had repaired the appellant's hernia using an abdominal mesh had breached his duty by providing her with inadequate information about alternatives to that procedure, the breach had not caused her injury or damage because she would have opted for the same procedure even if proper consent had been obtained.

Facts

The appellant underwent spinal surgery which used an abdominal approach. She later developed a significant post-operative abdominal hernia which was repaired by a surgeon using a mesh to support the abdominal wall. The appellant consulted the surgeon two years later when she was considering future pregnancy and wanted to know more about whether the mesh would pose any risks. He advised her about some risks and how they might need to be managed. She later consulted another surgeon, who told her that it was not advisable for her to become pregnant because of the presence of the mesh. She did not, in fact, go on to have any more children.

The appellant brought proceedings in the High Court pursuing a range of complaints. One of her claims was that the surgeon who repaired the hernia had not provided her with proper information about either the impact the use of a mesh might have on a future pregnancy or the alternative of undergoing a suture repair without the use of a mesh.

The High Court found that the surgeon had been in breach of his duty in two respects...

 

 

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