Serious covid-19 has legal implications for clinicians and heightens the risk of negligence claims, says Gemma Lindfield 

At the moment, thousands of families are unable to be with their loved ones who are dying. This is unimaginably torturous. It also means that the families will rely on what they are told about the patient’s condition and what is expected to happen. 

The perceived lack of transparency is leading to familial conflict. This has implications for clinicians and can increase the likelihood of legal action. 

Most people do not consider issues related to end-of-life care prior to serious illness. The problem is, by not doing so they are exposing themselves to decisions being taken at the end of their life by clinicians, guided by those close to them and which they may not have chosen if they had a say.