Using the words of McNair J, conveniently referred to as the Bolam Test, "The test is the standard of the ordinarily skilled man exercising and professing to have that special skill." This item is part of JSTOR collection The doctor’s judgment is not to be questioned. The recent Court of Appeal decision in Hii Chii Kok v Ooi Peng Jin London Lucien (“Hii Chii Kok”) has been a long time coming. 23. This principle was derived from the case of Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee . Before going into the Bolam case though, there is a little thing called “standard of care” to talk about. This is where the Bolam Test comes in, and is used as a standard to determine if the a patient has been mistreated or not. 593 ('Foo Fio Na'), the Federal Court of Malaysia rejected the Bolam test in duty of disclosure of risks cases and endorsed the patient-centered approach in Rogers v. Whitaker (1992) 175 C.L.R. Nonetheless, both the body of medical professionals and the courts have their individual roles to play and work. Singapore Journal of Legal Studies Bolam Rules in Singapore and Malaysia – Revisited The classic Bolam test for medical negligence, controversial for its doctor-centric approach, has long been under attack when applied to a particular aspect of the doctor’s duty, namely the duty to inform. Affirming the demise of the antiquated Bolam-Bolitho test in relation to pre-treatment advice, this decision also adds Singapore to a growing list of countries which have embraced the concept of patient autonomy. Swoboda has described ‘The deep ossification of the Bolam test in the common law’. Prior to 29/12/06 the test for medical negligence accepted by the Courts in Malaysia was generally known as the Bolam Test or the BolamPrinciple. In Bolam, the plaintiff, John Bolam, was a psychiatric patient suffering depressive illness. For terms and use, please refer to our Terms and Conditions Negligence was alleged against a doctor. Nonetheless, both the body of medical professionals and the courts have their individual roles to play and work in tandem with each other in order to ensure the best quality of medical care afforded by medical practitioners. Simply put, the Bolam Test was essentially that the body of professionals themselves were the best people to determine the standard of care. SJLS is run by the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore from which it draws its Editorial Committee. In determining the standards of care as such, it is only right that it be determined by medical professionals with the same specialisation or expertise. 19 The test is suited for these aspects as it recognises that doctors possess expert knowledge on medical matters. The standard of care differs between an ordinary general practitioner and a lay man, as stated in … Surgical procedures that were thought impossible decades ago today can be performed with as minimal invasion to the body as possible. The Bolam test which demonstrates that a medical practitioner is incapable of negligence if his actions are certified as suitable by a ‘responsible body of medical opinion’ enhances this impression. In medical negligence litigation, the 'Bolam' test is cited as the starting point. Copyright © Richard Wee ChambersAll Rights Reserved. It must be noted that while the Federal Court did not reject either of the tests, the court held that the ultimate consideration has to be whether or not a doctor had acted reasonably and logically. Essentially, the Bolam-Bolitho test laid down a physician-centric approach, where emphasis is placed on peer review to determine whether a doctor’s conduct had fallen short of such standard. This tendency will be criticised as the delegation of a judicial responsibility, a delegation which is particularly inappropriate when the matters delegated to medical opinion fall outside medical competence. In the well-known Malaysian case of Foo Fio Na v Dr. Soo Fook Mun & Anor [2007] 1 MLJ 593, the Federal Court, on 29/12/06, in its judgement declared inter alia, that the Bolam Test which is often used as the ground in determining the standard of care in regards to matters on medical negligence in Malaysia is no longer suitable to be applied. Reading Time: 9 minutes Introduction. THE BOLAM PRINCIPLE The test to determine what is the standard of care demanded of a doctor was established by McNair J. in Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee, which subsequently became known as the Bolam principle. The Bolam test was deemed to confer undue deference to the medical profession due to the courts’ reluctance to define the term, ‘a responsible body of medical opinion’. The test is derived from the case of Bolam v. Friern Hospital Management Committee (1957) . The "Bolam test", as it has come to be known, was approved by the Privy Council in Chin Keow v Government of Malaysia,4 Lord Edmund Davies in Whitehouse v Jordan,5 and the House of Lords in Maynard v West Midlands RH A.6 In Sidaway v Board of Governors of the Bethlem Royal Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital (a case considered in Part III) First, doctors need to be better educated . It was generally known as the Bolam Test. Don’t be afraid to seek help! Prior to 29/12/06 the test for medical negligence accepted by the Courts in Malaysia was generally known as the Bolam Test or the Bolam Principle. The famous Bolam Test established in the case of Bolam v Friern Hospital Management Committee 2 All ER 118 has no relevance to the duty and standard of care of a medical practitioner in providing advice to a patient on the inherent and material risks of the proposed treatment. 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