Beauchamp and Childress in their widely accepted framework for medical ethics outlined four prima facie principles (respect for autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice) which serve to guide decision making in medicine. At first glance, the principle of non-maleficence is easily interpreted. The most simplistic presentation of ‘harm’ in medicine is negligent harm or malpractice, or poor conduct that otherwise results in direct harm in terms of physical pain, failure of surgery or iatrogenic damage. These forms of harm are often addressed through the tort law system. With reference to tests of breach of duty, causation and recognised harm, tort offers a legal remedy to those who have been wronged.