The traditional view was encapsulated in the example of watching a person drown in shallow water and making no rescue effort, where commentators borrowed the line, "Thou shalt not kill but needst not strive, officiously, to keep another alive. Widgery CJ said: The allegation was not one of mere non-feasance, but of deliberate failure and willful neglect.
Lord Diplock said One of the simpler examples is the offence of failing to report a road traffic accident s.
In Re B Adult: Refusal of Medical Treatment 2 AER the presumption that an adult has full capacity can be rebutted if: a the person is unable to understand the information relevant to the decision, especially as to the likely consequences of having or not having the treatment; or b the patient is unable to use the information and weigh it in the balance as part of the process of arriving at a decision.
The usual reasoning behind this is that people should be punished only for deliberately adding to human misery, not for being indifferent towards it.
Omissions in English criminal law From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to navigation Jump to search The omissions of individuals are generally not criminalised in English criminal lawsubject to situations of special duty, contractual duty, and the creation of dangerous situations.
But it is not lawful for a doctor to administer a drug to his patient to bring about his death, even though that course is prompted by a humanitarian desire to end his suffering, however great that suffering may be.
He was convicted under the Criminal Damage Act for recklessly causing damage by omission. It was held that there should be a difference between commission and omission.
This involves an element of culpability which is not restricted to corruption or dishonesty, but which must be of such a degree that the misconduct impugned is calculated to injure the public interest so as to call for condemnation and punishment.