Huntington’s ruling on doctors’ duty to tell patient’s family

Case establishes precedent for relatives’ right to know about serious conditions, lawyers say

Doctors treating individuals with serious ailments owe a legal duty of care not just to their patients but to third parties associated with the people they are treating.

That is the key implication of a high court ruling last week in the case of a woman who had sued doctors because they failed to tell her about her father’s fatal hereditary disease, Huntington’s, before she had her own child. Had she known of the risks involved, she would have terminated the pregnancy, she argued.

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