Fay, M (2016) Negligence, Genetics and Families: A Duty to Disclose Actionable Risks. Medical Law International, 16 (3/4). pp. 115-142. ISSN 0968-5332

[thumbnail of Genetic Risks and A Duty to Disclose Med Law Int.docx] Text
Genetic Risks and A Duty to Disclose Med Law Int.docx - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (85kB)


Genetic testing can reveal information significant to patients’ relatives. This familial aspect raises an important question: should clinicians owe a duty to disclose genetic risk to patients’ blood relations? In ABC v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust and Smith and Another v University of Leicester NHS Trust, the High Court rejected claims by relatives regarding genetic information. Both cases are being appealed. The High Court’s analysis of duty was restrictive; foreseeable harm and proximity thus far receiving minimal scrutiny. A detailed analysis indicates harm and proximity are important in defining the scope of a duty. The foreseeable harm is argued as medically actionable genetic conditions. Proximity could be demonstrated by claimants establishing themselves as identifiable victims of nondisclosure that ought to be in defendants’ contemplation as so affected. It is also argued a duty is not prohibited by the policy reasons relied upon in ABC: incremental development, confidentiality, a right not to know and psychiatric harm.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: disclosure, duty, family, genetics, negligence, risks
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2016 10:18
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2021 14:44
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/2065

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item