Law, litigation and learning: a legacy from COVID‐19

K. Ferguson* (Corresponding Author), P. W. Johnston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial


Many commentaries and interpretations of the legal standing of guidance, ethics and decision-making have appeared since the arrival of COVID-19 in early 2020. The pandemic has resulted in doctors, specifically anaesthetists, working outside their usual scope of practice which may add to the pre-occupation with litigation in the wake of COVID-19. Is this because the prevailing perception is that apportioning blame, compensation or damages are more likely endpoints than learning when care does not happen as expected? A ‘just’ culture is not here yet [1]. There is little that can be done now to modify what we did in the worst of the crisis when there was least understanding of the nature of the problem clinically, ethically or as regards resources; but, did we ever know the law?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1428-1431
Number of pages4
Issue number11
Early online date14 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0. KF is the immediate past President of the Association of Anaesthetists. No other competing interests declared.


  • law
  • litigation
  • ethics
  • education
  • learning
  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV2


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