When is the right time to question a medical decision?

5 August 2021

Chimamanada Ngozi Adichie, celebrated author and feminist talks in Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail Podcast about the death of her father, and then her mother, 9 months later. Adichie speaks very eloquently about the many emotions that grief provokes.

Adichie also talks about some of the medical treatment her mother had, and her anger with herself that she did not question or challenge the Doctor who was caring for her mother. She reflects on how we are respectful of medical professionals, and those caring for our loved ones, who we believe are doing their best to help. She explains that this stopped her from pushing back, or questioning a medical decision that didn’t feel right, and that this has left her with regret and anger alongside overwhelming grief.

Adichie powerfully articulates the experience that so many of our clinical negligence clients and their families have had. The feeling of not being able to question a diagnosis, or of not being listened to when something isn’t right, and wondering whether different actions would have resulted in different outcomes are familiar themes of our work. Too frequently we represent Claimants who have been unable to obtain the help they need, resulting in fatal consequences – a cancer diagnosis that came too late, a missed aortic dissection or a stroke.

The death of a parent is devastating, regardless of whether it occurs through clinical negligence or personal injury, such as a Road Traffic Accident. Our expertise representing claimants allows our clients to trust us to investigate what happened to them, or their loved one, giving them the space to navigate their grief and new situation without added burden.

If you would like to talk about an experience that you, or your loved one has had please contact our team on 020 7814 1200.


If you would like any further information or advice about the topic discussed in this blog, please contact Kirsty Allen or our Medical Negligence and Personal Injury team.



Kirsty Allen has a varied caseload of medical negligence and personal injury matters. Her medical negligence work includes child cerebral palsy and adult brain injury cases, as well as fatal claims (including inquests), loss of sight cases, as well as failure to diagnose cancer and gynaecological claims.


Share insightLinkedIn Twitter Facebook Email to a friend Print

Email this page to a friend

We welcome views and opinions about the issues raised in this blog. Should you require specific advice in relation to personal circumstances, please use the form on the contact page.

Leave a comment

You may also be interested in:

Skip to content Home About Us Insights Services Contact Accessibility