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Law Estate v Simice (1995), 27 CCLT (2d)127 (BC CA)

Facts:

Plaintiff sued defendant (doctors) in negligence:
** Claimed her husband died because of failure to provide timely, appropriate and skilful emergency care;
** Doctors had not taken a CT scan;
** Issue of the allocation of limited and costly medical resources.

Issue(s):

Does the physician’s responsibility to the patient outweigh his or her responsibility to the medical system overall?

Ratio:

A physician’s responsibility to the patient outweighs their responsibility to the medical system overall (the severity of the standard of harm outweighs the cost.).

Analysis:

Medical equipment is costly to operate and it is limited in availability.

However, the severity of the harm that may occur to the patient if inadequately diagnosed is greater than the financial harm to the medical system.

Holding:

Decision in favour of plaintiff. Defendant was negligent.


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