Reforming Medical Manslaughter, the Scottish Way?

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Abstract

In responding to the Williams Review into gross negligence manslaughter in a medical setting, the Medical Protection Society called for English law to adopt the approach currently relied upon in Scotland. This article provides an overview of culpable homicide, before considering how any novel offence based on Scots law could be introduced in England and Wales. The benefits of culpable homicide over gross negligence manslaughter are addressed, with consideration of whether existing medical cases would attract punishment under any novel offence. It is argued that notwithstanding the higher threshold of culpability required by culpable homicide, Scots law cannot be considered a panacea. Rather, due to the detrimental impact that any novel crime would have on the existing structure of involuntary manslaughter, efforts to adopt the law north of the border within England and Wales should be avoided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-191
Number of pages31
JournalThe Journal of Criminal Law
Volume87
Issue number3
Early online date22 May 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

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