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ABSTRACT

The Medical field is one of the most referred and reverenced profession in that it deals with the lives of human beings and in the course of their dealings with patients, these patients go through tests, operations, diagnosis to mention but a few.
The Medical professionals in the course of discharging their duties are sometimes Negligent as regards adhering strictly to their professional Code of Conduct. For instance where a doctor leaves operating instruments in the abdomen of a patient. In Nigeria there exists a countless catalogue of Negligent
cases in which the involved Medical Personnel go scot free because their victims are ignorant of their rights let alone enforcements of such rights. The peculiarities imposed on the practice of Medicine in Nigeria by our Culture and Environment have been examined. The laxity or absence of policing of drugs and food in Nigeria has been highlighted. It is clear from this that some Nigerian laws which relate to many aspects of Medicine are outmoded and inadequate. This particular point is emphasized especially in
matters of abortion an mental illness. This Negligent act can be described as the breach of duties, standard, care and diligence required by the Medical Profession. The main focus of this long Essay is to discuss the Legal Implications of the breach of Duty in the Medical Profession. As regards this, solutions would be proferred to curb all acts which might later occur in the nearest future.
This work is divided into five chapters, chapter one deals basically with the general introduction. Chapter two gives us an insight into Medicine as a whole, how it evolved in Nigeria and how we received it. Chapter three gives us a proper understanding of the concept, Duty of Care and Medical Negligence,
Chapter four avails a Medical Practitioner the opportunity to be free from liability in essence, they have defences they can rely on. Lastly, Chapter five deals with the general conclusion.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
COVER PAGE…………………………………………………………………i
CERTIFICATION PAGE…………………………………………………….ii
ABSTRACT ………………………………………………………………… iii
TABLE OF CONTENTS ……………………………………………………iv
DEDICATION ………………………………………………………….…viii
ACKNOWLEDGMENT ……………………………………………………ix
TABLE OF CASES …………………………………………………………xi
TABLE OF STATUTE ……………………………………………………xiv
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS……………………………………………….xv
CHAPTER 1
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.0.0: INTRODUCTION ………………………………………….…………1
1.1.0: BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY ……………………………………….5
1.2.0: OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY ……………………………………..6
1.3.0: FOCUS OF THE STUDY …………………………………………….7
1.4.0: SCOPE OF THE STUDY ………………………………………………….8
1.5.0: METHODOLOGY ……………………………………………………8
1.6.0: LITERATURE REVIEW ……………………………………………..8
1.7.0: DEFINITION OF TERMS ………………………………..…………12
1.8.0: CONCLUSION ……………………………………………….………19
CHAPTER 2
MEDICINE IN PERSPECTIVE
2.0.0: INTRODUCTION …………………………………………………..21
2.1.0: EVOLUTION OF MEDICINE IN NIGERIA ………………………..21
2.2.0: AN OVERVIEW OF THE MEDICAL & DENTAL
PRACTITIONERS ACT…………………………………………………27
2.3.0: NATURE AND SCOPE OF MEDICAL ETHICS ……………….32
2.4.0: NATURE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY …………..34
2.5.0: CONCLUSION ……………………………………………………..35
CHAPTER 3
NEGLIGENCE AND DUTY OF CARE
3.0.0: INTRODUCTION ……………………………………………….…37
3.1.0:MEANING OF PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE ………………38
3.2.0: ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE TORT OF NEGLIGENC….40
3.3.0: DUTY OF CARE ……………………………………………………46
3.4.0: CONSEQUENCES OF BREACH OF DUTY ……………………54
3.5.0: DAMAGES AS A RESULT OF BREACH OF DUTY …………..61
3.6.0: CRIMINAL LIABILITY IN NEGLIGENCE ……………………64
3.6.1.0: MURDER OR CULPABLE HOMICIDE PUNISHABLE WITH
DEATH ……………………………………………………………………66
3.6.1.1: MANSLAUGHTER OR CULPABLE HOMICIDE NOT
PUNISHABLE WITH DEATH…………………………………………69
3.7.0: BURDEN OF PROOF: RES IPSA LOQUITOR………….……..72
3.8.0: VICARIOUS LIABILITY IN NEGLIGENCE………………….74
3.9.0: CONCLUSION…………………………………………….………75
CHAPTER 4
DEFENCES TO BREACH OF DUTY
4.0.0: INTRODUCTION…………….………………………………….77
4.1.0: CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE ……………………………77
4.1.1.0: REMOTENESS OF DAMAGE ……………………………….79
4.1.1.2: DEFENCE OF CONSENT…………………………………….80
4.1.1.3: DEFENCE OF ACCIDENT …………………………………..82
4.1.1.4: DEFENCE OF EMERGENCY ……………………………….82
4.2.0: CONCLUSION………………………………………………………….83
CHAPTER 5
GENERAL CONCLUSION
5.0.0: CONCLUSION ……………………………………………………84
5.1.0: RECOMMENDATION…………………………………………..86
BIBLIOGRAPHY ……………………………………………………….89
ARTICLES ON THE INTERNET………………………………………89
BOOKS ……………………………………………………………………………………..89
NEWSPAPER REPORTS……………………………………………….90

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