Fay, M (2017) Genetic Risks, Disclosure and Foreseeable Harm: An unanswered question after ABC v St George's Healthcare. Tort Law Review. ISSN 1039-3285

[thumbnail of M Fay Genetic Risks and Concepts of Harm Final Version.pdf]
M Fay Genetic Risks and Concepts of Harm Final Version.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (306kB) | Preview


ABC v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust was a missed opportunity. The case was a first opportunity for the UK courts to engage with a duty to disclose genetic risks to patients’ relatives, but Nicol J’s judgment focused on whether a duty was fair, just and reasonable and ignored issues of harm and proximity. This paper offers an answer to what the foreseeable harm, or gist damage, is in a claim of genetic nondisclosure. It considers intangible harms such as autonomy, dignity and preparedness but rejects these as formulations of harm as they fail to sufficiently recognise physical burdens of genetic conditions. The paper also explores tangible harms drawn from existing principles of tort. Loss of a chance is discussed and rejected because of the difficulties of the all or nothing approach on a balance of probabilities. It is instead proposed that eventuating genetic conditions are the gist of the action and an argument is put forward as to why it is not fatal to a negligence claim that defendants do not directly cause genetic diseases.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Thomson Reuters at http://sites.thomsonreuters.com.au/journals/category/tort-law-review/ - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: law, medicine, torts
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2017 16:25
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2021 10:26
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/2843

Actions (login required)

View Item
View Item