Kazarian, Melinee, Griffiths, Danielle and Brazier, Margaret (2011) Criminal responsibility for medical malpractice in France. Journal of Professional Negligence, 27 (4). ISSN 1746-6709

In England and Wales resort to the criminal process to address alleged medical malpractice remains
In English law the scope for prosecuting health professionals for poor practice resulting in harm
to patients is limited. In most cases it is only a fatal and gross error that may result in criminal
charges, and as we shall see in the next section of this paper, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS)
is cautious in its approach to prosecuting cases of ‘medical manslaughter’.2 Patients and families who
allege medical malpractice have in the past looked to claims in clinical negligence for redress. Current
proposals to remove legal aid3
from such claims may result in victims of medical malpractice in
England seeking a criminal investigation of such malpractice more readily. They may look to France
for an exemplar of a much broader role for the criminal process in holding doctors for account for
clinical negligence

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