The legal duty of doctors when they cover for each other has come into the spotlight after a recent Durban High Court judgment dealing with medical negligence.

In the case, Judge Johan Ploos van Amstel ruled that Dr Abdool Suliman could not be found responsible for birth defects suffered by a baby after being deprived of oxygen while his mother was in labour.

The judge said while there was a “serious lapse which fell short of the degree of care and expertise that was expected of him”, he had been unable to find that had he acted as it is said he should have, the outcome would have been avoided.