Measles victim awarded pounds 825,000

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The Independent Online
A doctor who advised against a measles vaccination was yesterday ordered to pay pounds 825,000 damages to the parents of a girl who suffered massive brain damage after catching the disease.

Dr Justin James was found to have been negligent by a High Court judge and to have fallen below the standards of a GP.

The doctor advised Terence and Anne Thomson, of Farnham, Surrey, that because their daughter, Emma, had a history of convulsions, it would be better not to vaccinate. Mr Justice Gage said he should have said Emma could have been vaccinated with special precautions.

Two other doctors who also failed to vaccinate the child were cleared because Mrs Thomson's subsequent reluctance over measles jabs was caused by her first consultation with Dr James.

John Grace QC, for the family, had told the court: "The failure to vaccinate her has been disastrous. Her's is without exaggeration a ruined life." Emma, 14, caught measles in 1987 and now has personality and behaviour problems.

He said he "had no doubt" there was a discussion between Mrs Thomson and Dr James about measles vaccination and he did advise against it because of Emma's condition.