A GP admitted that she had failed to arrange for the appropriate tests to show whether the Appellant was a carrier of haemophilia which led the Appellant to believe that her children would not have haemophilia. Her child was born with haemophilia but was also later diagnosed as suffering from severe autism. Had the Appellant been referred for proper testing it would have been discovered that she was a carrier of haemophilia. She would then have terminated the pregnancy. The Respondent GP accepted liability for the additional costs of bringing up a child with haemophilia but denied that she was liable for the additional costs associated with his autism.
The Supreme Court held that there was no principled basis for excluding clinical negligence from the ambit of the “scope of duty” principle. The GP was liable only for losses falling within the scope of her duty of care to advise Appellant on whether or not she was a carrier of the haemophilia gene. She was not liable for costs associated with the Child’s autism.