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See one, do one, teach one – advising patients of your experience and training

The Supreme Court of NSW recently found a neurosurgeon liable in negligence because he lacked the relevant experience and training to perform an operation and undertook surgery in circumstances where the condition should have been monitored and an expectant approach taken in the first instance.
  • 1 Nov 2017


Exam phobia & disability discrimination

Whilst we have all no doubt experienced a fear of sitting an exam at some stage, is a phobia of sitting a College entrance exam a disability? 
  • 10 Oct 2017


When work and health assessments collide

An employee of an area health service in Queensland recently sought the court’s leave to appeal a decision in which he failed to establish that blood and urine samples collected from him without his consent causing a psychiatric injury. 
  • 9 Oct 2017


The challenge of obtaining pre-trial rulings on admissibility of evidence

In this recent Supreme Court of NSW application [Eastbury v  Genea Limited (formerly known as Sydney IVF Limited) [2017] NSWSC 1289], Dr Curtotti, the second defendant, sought orders concerning the admissibility and use of portions of an expert report served by Genea, in advance of the trial pursuant to s192A of the Evidence Act 1995.
  • 5 Oct 2017


Failure to establish suicide attempt was related to discharge advice

The Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge’s decision that the plaintiff ‘s claim failed as he failed to establish that the advice provided on discharge for a period of leave, or the lack thereof, was causally related to his subsequent attempt to commit suicide and consequential hypoxic brain injury.
  • 6 Jun 2017


Limitation issues in mental harm claims

Whilst not a medical negligence case, this interlocutory decision of the Supreme Court of NSW (Odell v State of New South Wales [2017] NSWSC 643)  provides some important reminders in relation to limitation issues in mental harm claims.
  • 29 May 2017


Failure to abandon surgery results in damages of $3.8M

In a recent Supreme Court of NSW decision, the plaintiff was successful in his claim against an orthopaedic surgeon an anaesthetist in relation to paraplegia suffered during surgery to correct a spinal deformity. The plaintiff was awarded a sum in excess of $3.8M plus legal costs.
  • 19 May 2017


A new era – Updated AMA Code of Ethics

On 17 March 2017, the AMA releases its revised Code of Ethics (view here). The 2004 Code of Ethics was last updated in 2006.
  • 20 Mar 2017


No ticket, no surgery

The Professional Standards Committee of the Medical Council of NSW found a medical practitioner guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct for allowing a visiting surgeon to operate without being registered to practise in NSW.
  • 14 Mar 2017


Who has standing to seek a guardianship order?

The Guardianship Division of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (the Tribunal) was recently required to consider whether a Local Health District (LHD) had standing to make an application seeking a guardianship order in respect of an in-patient (NEJ [2017] NSWCATGD 1).
  • 14 Feb 2017


A need for targeted prevention of suicide by health professionals

A recent coroner’s inquest into the death of a RANZCOG trainee from an accidental overdose of intravenous drugs, including propofol, midazolam, and fentanyl, has highlighted the problem of diversion of drugs of addiction from hospitals. The inquest also highlighted a number of other issues which are of relevance to hospitals and doctors.
  • 7 Dec 2016


A plantar wart or melanoma?

These Supreme Court of NSW proceedings relate to an alleged failure to diagnose a melanoma on the sole of the foot while the patient received treatment for a plantar wart.
  • 14 Nov 2016


Justice and the self-represented litigant

The Victorian Court of Appeal in Redzepovic dismissed the applicant’s appeal against a trial judge’s finding in favour of the respondent. The facts of this case are unremarkable however, are worth noting in relation to issues which arise with self-represented litigants.
  • 31 Oct 2016


Consumer Law and Public Health Services

A recent Supreme Court case which concerned allegation of defamation (reported here on 26 September 2016) also raised the important issue of whether the sending of an email by a paediatrician was a breach of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). 
  • 4 Oct 2016


Doctors expression of concern regarding school hearing tests not defamatory

A recent decision in the Supreme Court was required to consider whether a paediatrician and health service, being vicariously liable for the paediatrician, had defamed a director of a company or engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.
  • 26 Sep 2016

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