Discuss the extent to which the rules on causation need to be reformed

1705 Words Jan 11th, 2015 7 Pages
Discuss the extent to which the rules on causation need to be reformed?
Causation refers to whether the defendant's conduct caused the harm or damage in a crime and it must be established in all result crimes. Causation in criminal liability is divided into factual causation and legal causation. Factual causation is the starting point and consists of applying the 'but for' test. In most cases, factual causation alone will be enough to establish causation. However, in some circumstances it will also be necessary to consider legal causation. Legal causation is when the result must be caused by a culpable act, the act of the defendant may not necessarily need to be the only cause, but must be more than minimal. Factual causation is
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Another issue of medical treatment is the question of when is the best time to turn off a life support machine in the interests of the patient and when turning off a life support machine is too early and the patient could still recover. Case examples of this are Macherek and Steele.
Under the thin skull rule, the defendant must take his victim as he finds him. This means if he has a particularly vulnerable victim he is fully liable for the consequences to them even if an ordinary person would not have suffered such severe consequences. this rule applies regardless of whether the defendant was aware of the condition such as in r v Hayward and also The thin skull rule also applies where the victim has refused medical treatment which would have saved them such as in r v Holland when
The defendant was involved in a fight in which he inflicted a deep cut on the victim's finger. The victim failed to take care of the wound or get medical assistance and the wound became infected. Eventually gangrene set in and the victim was advised to have his arm amputated. The victim refused and died. The defendant was liable for his death despite the victim's actions in contributing to his own death.
There is issues with causation though and is questioned whether it is in need of reform.
There is the issue that causation does not have a moral base meaning blame plays a greater part than actual proof which makes it hard to amend the law for example when using the
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