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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have completed a memoir. It details a section of my life

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I have completed a memoir. It details a section of my life affected by a rare head condition involving tiny holes in the bone near the brain - SCDS. In the UK there are only about 8 ENT doctors who do skull base surgery at that specialised level. My first surgery was in the UK (by one of those 8) and it failed. I ended up having to go to America for treatment and more surgeries. My story covers all this and all the UK doctors who I consulted on the journey. Where appropriate I have changed names and I relocated my failed surgery in Manchester rather than Birmingham. Everything I have recounted is true and I have many emails, letters and test results to account for that. My American surgeon has read the manuscript and authenticated every word of the medical information. Am I still at risk of defamation if the UK surgeon gets to hear about the book? I know there is a case of Simon Singh (April 2010) who won a libel appeal and it was upheld that 'matters of science' should not be settled by litigation. Would this help me? I need to assess whether I am taking a risk by publishing. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I realise there is some risk as my UK surgeon will not like the fact that I am revealing that his surgery wasn't successful and he should not have discharged me but everything is true. I am not nasty, I do not belittle him in the book, I do not reveal private or embarrassing facts about him....can he still claim I have injured his reputation and thereofre sue me?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
Is what you are going to say true?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have paid £47. Please can I have a full written reply. Yes everything in the book is 100% true.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm not able to do a phone discussion for an additional cost of £38. I have a disabled son here that I am caring for. I'll await your written reply please. Do you need any more information?
I was only offering an additional service, you dont need to take it, so dont worry.
If what you are saying is true then you dont need to worry. Not only would the other side have to show that it was wrong but that they also suffered 'serious harm'. The law changed in 2013 and as such the threshold now for defamation is far higher.
So you do not need to worry, unless they can show serious harm any claim will fail.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That's great news. How would they claim harm was done though - could the surgeon say I had damaged his reputation but telling the public that I had a failed surgery? Or am I ok because my surgeon in America will support the fact that the surgery wasn't successful? In my particular condition, which is a rare specialised one, the American man is MUCH more experienced. He's had far far more patients and done far far more surgeries. Does that help me too?
Its not just harm but serious harm. I think the fact the American is more experienced does help you.
Does that clarify?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
One more query - the surgery who did the unsuccessful operation and discharged me he's based in Birmingham. In my book I've placed him in Manchester and changed his name (to protect his identity). To keep everything as true as possible would it be safe to change it back to Birmingham in the book? Or better to leave it as Manchester? I don't want anyone to think it is another surgeon in Manchester and get the wrong person! Do you see what I mean?
You can change it tom Birmingham but I would leave it somewhere else to give you more protection.
Does that help?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You've been a wonderful help Alex. One last thing - I'll leave him in Manchester. Should I disguise him further by describing him in a way (physical appearance) that is very different to how he actually looks. Or is that unnecessary. I havern't said much about his appearance but neither have I described him in a way that would diguise who he is. Am I ok?
I dont think that is necessary. It could be fairly generic.
Does that help?
If this answers your question could I invite you rate my answer before you leave today.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes - I'll do it now. Thank you for your helpful replies Alex. Philippa