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- An act

- An omission (failure to act)

- A `state of affairs'


D acted; circumstances are immaterial


Consists of circumstances and sometimes consequences but no act on part of D

`Being done' rather than `done'

Sometimes not voluntary;

R v Larsonneur 1933…

Page 2

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If succ. con. must prove D caused V's death

2 elements; factual & legal causation


D actually caused V's death

Pros. must prove that but for D's actions, V would not have died as & when he did

R v White 1910

Est. `But For Test' in…

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D's actions need not be the medical c.o.d

R v McKetchney 1992 CA

D. hit V. over head w/TV

In hosp. discovered V. had stomach ulcer

Unable to op. due to injuries from D.

Ulcer burst & killed V. ­ CA upheld that D killed V

D must take V…

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D liable in most med. neg. circumstances

Smith 1959

D stabbed V but V dropped 3 times on way to busy military hosp.

No treatment for 45 min's then doc. pressed on chest and D died

D con. of M. & appeal quashed

Stab wound was `op. & sub.' at…

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The actions of 3rd parties must be `reasonably foreseeable' if D responsible

Pagett 1983

D used pregnant girlfriend as shield against armed pol. who had told they would shoot

V died & D claimed pol. fault

Con upheld; `reasonably foreseeable' 3rd party actions would fatally injure V

The actions of…

Page 6

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D con. of GBH and CA upheld as `reasonably foreseeable' V would try and escape

Confirms test in Roberts

If V refuses to help themselves, doesn't break c.o.c

R v Holland 1841

D cut V finger w/ iron thing & contracted infection

Decided not to get it treated and got…

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- If V can save themselves, shouldn't be D's responsibility anymore; suicide?


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