The case was turned down on the ground that what the judge termed a misadventure could not be treated as negligence. (Bolam v. Friern Hospital Management Committee. 1957). The learned judge had, through the decision, in this case, established, perhaps unwittingly, a new precedent in English House of Lords case history, which came down the years to be named and referred as the Bolam Test. This test has been the bedrock on which legal decision in English Courts would be influenced in later years in favor of the medical profession and its alleged erring or non-erring practitioners, for nearly four decades after its first enunciation. This pervading influence of the Bolam Test has been felt in several cases, and it was only after Justice Wilkinson gave his famous ruling in the Bolitho case in 1997, that the onus of negligence and its premises shifted from the legal premises of medical testimonials and evidence to the basis of application of reasonableness, sound judgment, pragmatism and critical analysis of facts of the case.Defects in the Bolam approach: The essential ingredient for establishing negligence in the medical profession has been that the attending doctor had failed to provide the degree of professional care, or accepted the standard of attention, to the plaintiff patient. As a result of this, the patient suffered losses or injuries, which could be directly caused by the lack of standard in care, provided by the doctor. Therefore, there are two elements in it.
Hospital Management Committee