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Medical Board “Bonk Ban”: what you need to know

It has always been essential for doctors to maintain professional boundaries and not establish or pursue any sexual, exploitative or other inappropriate relationship with someone under their care. Such relationships are always unethical and usually harmful to patients and the wider community because of issues surrounding power imbalance, trust, safety and quality of health care. However, the new ...

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Doctor denied procedural fairness by Tribunal

Proceedings had been commenced in the Tribunal by the Medical Board alleging a breach of professional boundaries, sexual misconduct, misleading entries in clinical notes and making false statements to AHPRA and the Board. Following conferral between the parties, a document entitled "Minute of Proposed Orders" was signed by the solicitors acting for the parties. The Minute took the form of an order ...

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No obligation on Tribunal to make all or any combination of protective orders available

Following the making of findings of professional misconduct against a registered nurse who had commenced a sexual relationship with a patient under his care in a psychiatric facility, the nurse consented to a package of orders which included (1) cancellation, (2) disqualification and (3) prohibition. Despite the nurse's consent and the absence of any argument about protective orders, the Tribunal made only one of the protective orders, being (1) cancellation....

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Immediate action against practitioner after suspension of medical licence in US

The immediate action process arose from a notification the Board received in August 2016 that the practitioner, who was practicing in both the US and Australia, had had his medical licence summarily suspended in June 2016 by Judge Mandala, an Administrative Law Judge of the Alaskan Office of Administrative Hearings. The practitioner’s suspension in Alaska followed an investigation into his prescribing ...

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Podiatrist’s application for judicial review of Board’s decision to caution him dismissed

In October 2015, the Board received a notification from a patient on whom the podiatrist had performed surgery. The complaint had been about the result of the surgery and did not deal with the adequacy of the consultation, discussion of risks, and process of obtaining consent. After receiving the notification, the Board provided the podiatrist with a copy of the notification, and identified the ...

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Registered Nurse’s Conduct in a Drug Dispensing Arrangement Results in Professional Misconduct

An experienced mental health nurse and psychotherapist was involved in the care of a patient over a 13-year period, where the Patient had a complex history of mental health issues and drug dependency. The practitioner provided regular one-on-one care under the NSW Mental Health Nurse Incentive Plan, in partnership with the Patient’s GP. In August 2011, the Patient died of a drug overdose as a direct result of multiple drug toxicity, including illicit drugs....

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Tribunal makes orders for reprimand and rehabilitation

In Medical Board of Australia v GMZ, a practitioner was found to have self-administered schedule 4 drugs over a period of 6 years that had not been legitimately prescribed to him.  The practitioner had also made false representations to obtain the drugs and forged prescriptions on his father’s prescription pad. The practitioner’s name was suppressed on the basis that its publication would be deleterious to his rehabilitation....

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Overstepping Professional Boundaries leads to Professional Misconduct

The experienced GP was found guilty of professional misconduct for continuing to treat an elderly patient after he became aware that he was named as the dominant beneficiary in her will. The GP had commenced treating the patient in 1996. Over the course of time they formed a genuine friendship, socialising together and exchanging gifts. In or about 2002 or 2003 the GP became aware that he was named as a beneficiary in the patient’s will....

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Neurosurgeon suspended following colleague’s fatal drug overdose

In July 2012 the neurosurgeon became close friends with a neurosurgical registrar (Dr A). Between October 2012 and February 2013 the pair consumed the drug GHB whilst socialising outside work and on weekends. The pair developed a dependency on GHB and discussed trying to wean themselves off using the pharmaceutical drug Pregabalin. On 21 April 2013, Dr A was found deceased from a heroin overdose. The ...

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Doctor suspended for forging signatures to patient consent forms

Over a period of 12 months, the practitioner caused 37 patient consent forms to be signed by a person other than that patient in respect of surgical operations, procedures or medical treatment. He then knowingly provided to the Alfred Health and/or to the Royal Women’s Hospital those forged consent forms, knowing that they would form part of the patients’ medical record of that hospital....

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Doctor suspended over alternative therapy advice

The patient had been diagnosed with a hepatoblastoma (a malignant tumour of her liver) in early August 2009. Doctors at Princess Margaret Hospital recommended chemotherapy. The patient's parents wished her to be treated with natural therapies and were opposed to chemotherapy. On 1 September 2009, the patient and her mother left for South America. The patient died on 12 November 2009. Subsequently, the Coroner made a referral to the Medical Board of Australia....

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GP Suspended for Slapping a Child's Face during Consulation

The child and his mother had attended for an appointment so that the GP might try to help the child swallow his ADHD medication. The GP attempted to teach the child how to swallow the medication over a period of about 50 minutes. The child refused and fidgeted in his chair. At one stage, the GP placed his feet on the top of the child's feet in an attempt to keep him still. The child continued to refuse ...

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