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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3613
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I am a homoeopath and I have a patient who is threatening litigation.

Customer Question

I am a homoeopath and I have a patient who is threatening litigation. She is schizophrenic and I have treated her successfully for eight years. Recently, probably because of misunderstandings, a lost email, a change in the shape of the tablets I had sent her, she proved difficult and critical and I found that I could not continue to treat her. It is this that she now describes as "abuse". She is demanding a "three months' supply" of a particular homoeopathic remedy, which she says has worked well for her in the past; otherwise she threatens to take action. I have responded that no serious homoeopath would prescribe and send medication under threat. Nor would it be ethical to simply send out medication as though it was vitamin pills to be taken every day. Finally, a few days ago, I offered her a chance to speak with me by telephone to see if something could be resolved, but her response was aggressive. She said she was too busy and that why should she afford me the opportunity to "earn wages from woe". I had no intention of charging her for this, and for me it was an attempt to hold out an olive branch in the midst of what was beginning to look like an impossible situation. Her response was such that it made me see that I no longer need reproach myself for having left a sick person "in the lurch", as she claims. It was aggressive and menacing. "Send me the medication", she ordered. Otherwise it is litigation. Now I expect she will go to a solicitor and take advice. She has also used the expression of "sueing me". Without exaggeration she has been a nightmare. I am prepared to get professional advice, should I hear from her lawyer, but I would like to gain a general idea of where I stand in this matter. I have always considered it the right of practitioner to withdraw their services, should they wish to do so. This patient has admitted in writing that she has gained from my treatment and for this she grateful. It is not a matter therefore of my having prescribed something that has harmed her. Many thanks. David
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
You would be concerned with two matters:
1. You supply a service - you have a contract with her and your will be subject to the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982;
2. You are possibly regulated and a breach of professional standards may lead to a regulatory complaint.
She can sue you for breach of contract and breach of the 1982 Act and its implied terms - this is a claim for contractual damages - she would have to prove you provided the service negligently and without reasonable care and skill - and she would have to prove she suffered loss as a result. Clearly this claim is unlikely if she is not of well mind and just making threats.
You must say to her that you can no longer deal with her, and she must refer any future disputes to your regulator if you have one. Part of being a professional is that people have the right to complain about you rightly or wrongly. I would just keep a diary and record of what happened so you can respond to any questions from you regulator.
You know you have not done anything wrong, and have tried to remedy this. As she will not accept your attempts to resolve the situation, I think trying to do more will just cause more harm.
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3613
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you Alex,

This was helpful. It makes me aware that I am subject to the 1982 Goods and Services Act.

I am not a member of a professional body and in that I now close now to retiring, it would not be worthwhile to register with one. Though fully qualified, I have worked independently without any problem until now.

What you say is helpful in that I have not caused her harm. I have simply sought to end my dealings with her.

I will as you suggest, have no further dealings with her. And I have a record of all her email messages.

Thank you for your help.

David

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ps The thing now is simply to wait until I hear anything further, and then seek legal advice as to how best to proceed.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
No problem.
I wish you the best of luck. Base in mind the consumer rights under the supplier of goods and services act are treated as implied contractual terms. Damages for breaching them are contractual. If she has not actually suffered and damage or loss she wont have a claim.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can assist any further.
I would be most grateful if you would rate my answer.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks,

I am rather nervous because this is the first time in my life that I have had this kind of experience. The connection with this person was also excellent until now.

She may of course claim that my seeking to end the treatment was a breach of contract and with this I shall have to deal when it come.

Meanwhile, I just wait - for the axe to fall :(

David

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Is there any person - solicitor - in the Stoke on Trent area whom you are free to recommend? Probably not, but I thought would ask anyway. David

Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
We are not allowed to recommend people on this site - however if you contact the Law Society www.lawsociety.org.uk - they can recommend someone near you. You need a Civil Litigation solicitor.
Kind regards
AJ

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