3 doctors sued for failing to monitor a patient's lithium levels

A GP, a gastroenterologist and a psychiatrist walk into a barrage of negligence claims - and the outcome of the case, for all involved, is no laughing matter

A 55-year-old financial adviser with a 30-year history of bipolar disorder attended his GP intermittently. He was being treated with lithium for mood stabilisation and, in the proceeding years, had developed diabetes, obesity, hypertension and a tremor.

Blood test

His psychiatrist had recommended he return to have his lithium levels checked, but the patient preferred to see his GP.

When admitted to hospital for a cholecystectomy, his lithium levels were in the therapeutic range.

Four months later, he presented to his GP with