What is the history of the Bolam Test?
In 1957 a patient, Mr Bolam, was given electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatment which caused him to sustain serious fractures. Mr Bolam then brought a medical negligence claim to court on the following basis:
- He had not been warned about the risks involved in the Procedure.
- The doctor had failed to administer muscle relaxation prior to the Procedure.
- He had not been restrained during the Procedure.
Mr Bolam’s case failed because it was found medical protocols which existed at the time had been correctly followed.
However, the case led to a test being developed known as the Bolam test to determine whether a medical practitioner has met their legal duty of care or has acted negligently.