Symphysiotomy test case takes place in Court of Appeal
An appeal which is widely seen as a test case for future symphysiotomy actions is taking place at the Court of Appeal.
A 76-year-old woman who was subjected to a prophylactic symphysiotomy in 1963 is appealing last May’s High Court decision that the use of the procedure was not without justification.
Ciaran Craven SC is acting for the woman in the appeal, which opened before Mr Justice Michael Peart, Ms Justice Mary Irvine and Mr Justice Michael Hanna on Tuesday.
Aidan Flahavan, associate solicitor in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution department at Beauchamps Solicitors, told Irish Legal News: “Plaintiff and Defence medical negligence solicitors will be awaiting with huge interest the Court of Appeal’s views in relation to the ‘generally approved practice test’.
“This test is usually regarded as being pro-doctor and in effect, means that Plaintiffs must prove that the Defendant doctor’s conduct was utterly indefensible.
“This is a tough hurdle for Plaintiffs to surmount. In previous cases the Courts have justified this approach on the basis that a professional person relies more than most on his reputation and that doctors deserve special protection from unsubstantiated attack.”