GP sued over alleged failure to diagnose pancreatic cancer

Widow of patient claimed doctor failed to establish a plan of investigation

A 48-year-old man presented to his GP with a three-day history of intermittent epigastric pain, partially relieved by antacids.


There was nothing to find on abdominal examination and the GP considered a likely diagnosis of episodic reflux.

He advised a trial of ranitidine, an H2 receptor blocker, and asked the patient to return if his symptoms persisted.

The GP also advised him that an endoscopy might be required if the pain became persistent or more frequent.