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R v Adomako [1995]

Facts

  • The defendant, a doctor, failed to notice that a respiratory tube had become disconnected from the patient during an operation
  • The disconnection would have been obvious, and the patient died from cardiac arrest

Issue

  • Did this satisfy the requirements for an offence of gross negligence manslaughter?

Decision

  • Yes

Reasoning

  • Gross negligence manslaughter requires: a duty of care based on the tort of negligence; a breach which caused death and a breach which was serious enough to be a crime
  • The doctor was under a duty to take reasonable care of the patient, which was clearly breached
  • The jury is to decide whether the breach is serious enough, and so it was correct to uphold the conviction
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