The Medico-Legal Society

Promoting medico-legal knowledge in all its aspects

The latest print edition of the Medico-Legal Journal for 2020 (Volume 88, supplementary edition) has been dispatched to members and subscribers.

The talk delivered to the Society by Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers (who has seldom been out of the news since the Covid-19 Epidemic began) is reproduced with the subsequent discussion. His talk asked if the NHS could reach its 100th Birthday or if it is now “in Palliative Care.”

The Journal also prints the last talk the Society held before physical meetings at the Medical Society of London were curtailed by the lockdown. The lecture by Ms Bahar Ata, the head of the Public Law and Immigration departments at the Luton branch of Duncan Lewis, solicitors, was on “The importance of the Medico-Legal Relationship in Immigration Law.”

There are three original articles from the UK: by regular contributor (and former President of the Society) Alec Samuels on disputes between doctors and families of seriously ill patients; by Timothy David of Manchester University’s Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and Sarah Ellson of Fieldfisher, solicitors on the meaning of “integrity” in judging fitness to practice and by Kieran Duignan and Chloe Bradbury on whether doctors should be immune from negligence claims arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The international reach of the Journal is demonstrated by contributions from Italy on medically assisted suicide and on the appropriate pathways for treating women suffering violence and abuse and, from India, there are two articles on the adverse effects of prolonged wearing of Personal Protective Equipment.

At the Society’s first meeting of the new season on 8th October 2020  Sir Robert Francis QC (well known for conducting the Mid-Staffs Enquiry and latterly chairman of Healthwatch England) handed over the presidency to Professor Harry Zeitlin, Emeritus Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University College, London.    Professor Zeitlin addressed the meeting (held via Zoom and attended by more than 50 members) on the subject of “Expert Witnesses Past Present and Future.”  During the subsequent discussion, the meeting was delighted to hear from its former president Dr Neville Davis who, at the age of 95, is continuing to act as an expert witness.

Professor Zeitlin

Following Harry Zeitlin’s appointment as President he has relinquished his position as Medical Editor of the Medico-Legal Journal and  Dr Daniel Haines has taken his place. Danial Haines is former President of the Society and had acted as Medical Editor before serving as President.


Dr Haines




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