Letter: Compensation lottery

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Litigation does not address the needs of most brain-damaged children ("Plan to end `lottery' of medical negligence", 15 December). Less than 15 percent of such children can attribute their condition to a compensatable adverse birth event. Their needs exist regardless of cause.

Lawyers seeking to preserve a threatened and discredited legal aid system invoke the plight of such children. Such children need support, not exploitation. Although rarely obtained, compensation is championed as if it addresses their needs. This spurious argument fails such children in most cases while fulfilling the economic aspirations of lawyers in every case.

Dr PENELOPE ELPHINSTONE

London NW1

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