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Medicolegal aspects of anaesthesia for oral and maxillofacial surgery 

Medicolegal aspects of anaesthesia for oral and maxillofacial surgery
Medicolegal aspects of anaesthesia for oral and maxillofacial surgery

Christopher Heneghan

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date: 19 July 2018

The law relating to anaesthesia for oral and maxillofacial surgery is the law that governs all medical practice, and in this respect anaesthetists are no different from other doctors. The range of patients encountered will include those aged from under 5 to those over 100 years, the mentally incompetent and the all too competent, the litigious, and the obstinate. The involvement of other doctors (surgeons) in decision-making, while from time to time putting extra difficulties in our way, does not change the need to work to the correct standard.

Some of the law governing medical practice is common law, the judicial response to a legal vacuum; some is statute (including statutory instrument), which ranges from laws codifying the common law to wholly new departures. Law is a function of government, and differs between jurisdictions. This chapter will address the law of England and Wales, and, where appropriate, may include comments about other jurisdictions. These writings should not be seen as a substitute for legal advice, though they may of course help understand such advice, and where comments are included regarding the law of other jurisdictions, they should be seen as illustrative rather than instructive.

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