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negligence

Informed consent and usual practice of doctors
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Informed consent and usual practice of doctors

On 21 January 2013, the plaintiff jumped from the balcony of a second storey building, intending to land in the swimming pool below. Unfortunately, he missed the pool and suffered comminuted fractures to the calcaneal bones in each ankle. He was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital (the defendant’s hospital), where he was treated conservatively. He was discharged five days later, and subsequently ...

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Peer Professional Opinion Defence Rejected Again
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Peer Professional Opinion Defence Rejected Again

Mr Frangie (the Deceased) suffered a heart attack at home. He was taken to Liverpool Hospital where, following investigations, it was found he had suffered a ST elevation myocardial infarct (STEMI). As it was likely that the Deceased had been suffering the heart attack for at least a day prior to attending hospital, his late presentation suggested that his prognosis was poor. He was discharged after 5 days, on 18 November 2016, but died at home on 21 November 2016....

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Failure to warn gives rise to wrongful birth claim: Nouri v Australian Capital Territory [2018] ACTSC

Saba Nouri was born on 3 November 2011 to the plaintiffs with severe disabilities. Saba’s disabilities were characterised as VACTERL association – a collection of vertebral, anorectal, cardiac, tracheo-oesophageal, oesophageal, renal and limb abnormalities. The plaintiffs submitted that the hospital should have informed them about concerns for Saba’s health that arose during the pregnancy....

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Hospital, obstetrician sued for negligence after stillbirth of baby

Background On 13 January 2011, KS was admitted to Calvary Private Hospital. She was a patient of Dr Foote, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and was pregnant with her first child. By 13 January 2011 the baby was one week overdue and it had been agreed that KS would be induced. After arriving at hospital at about 4:30 pm, she was attached to a foetal heart rate monitor. By 4.58 pm abnormalities ...

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Peer professional opinion and irrationality

In South Western Sydney Local Health District v Gould [2018] NSWCA 69, the NSW Court of Appeal overturned the District Court decision in which the appellant had been found liable in negligence for the treatment of an 8 year old boy’s open fracture to his left thumb – specifically, for failing to administer an additional antibiotic drug (gentamicin). Ultimately, the boy developed osteomyelitis and gangrene in his thumb, which consequently required amputation....

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GP Obstetrician's conduct not widely accepted practice

Background At 8:25am on 24 August 2009, Cooper’s mother was induced and progressed normally until she reached full dilatation at 8:40pm. There had been no recorded foetal head movements from 4:30pm, and there was clinical evidence of disproportion between the foetal head and maternal pelvis. At 8:45pm she had entered the second stage of labour. She was pushing with each contraction and there was no sign of foetal distress....

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Competent professional practice does not require evidence of “a practice”

In Sparks v Hobson; Gray v Hobson [2018] NSWCA 29, the Plaintiff suffered from Noonan Syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents normal development in various parts of the body. Due to this disorder, his ability to fill his lungs with air, and hence to breathe, was restricted. Surgery to correct this problem was arranged to take place in two stages. The first operation was successful. The second ...

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Liability of hospital for actions of a misbehaving patient

A B v Australian Capital Territory [2018] ACTSC 18 is a decision of the Supreme Court of the ACT which considers the liability of a hospital following the abuse and assault of the plaintiff by another patient who was affected by, at least, alcohol and admitted to the same ward. The plaintiff had suffered a PTSD as a result. The plaintiff alleged that the abuse and assault only took place because ...

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No Extension of Limitation Period 16 Years Post-Surgery

One might conclude from the decision, that the Plaintiff, Mr Holcombe, presented as an honest, stoic and credible 42-year-old man, who had tolerated many years of pain and discomfort. However, as the Court concluded, the decision to extend a limitation period must be reasonable, as well as just. Synthesising all the relevant factors, the Court could not find that an extension of time was reasonable, ...

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Neurosurgeon failed to properly advise of treatment options

In February 2011, the Plaintiff was found to have a benign brain tumour. He consulted with Dr Day, a neurosurgeon, who recommended that the tumour be removed by way of endoscopic surgery. The surgery was performed without incident but shortly thereafter the Plaintiff suffered a haemorrhage which left him with significant impairment. It was accepted that there were two available courses of treatment: ...

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GP successfully defends claim alleging negligent insertion of Implanon device

Background On 31 August 2011, the Plaintiff attended on Dr Al-Hakeem and ultimately had an Implanon contraceptive device inserted into her arm. For an Implanon device to be effective, it must be inserted within the first five days of the patient’s menstrual cycle. Unbeknownst to the Plaintiff and Dr Al-Hakeem, at the time the Implanon device was inserted, the Plaintiff was 19 days pregnant....

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Referral for surgery - competent professional practice

The defendant, a specialist respiratory physician, referred the plaintiff to a cardiothoracic surgeon for treatment of a lung mass following the defendant’s diagnosis of Stage II large cell lung cancer, based on clinical assessment and medical investigations. The plaintiff subsequently underwent left lower lobectomy and lymph node dissection surgery. Post-surgery, analysis of the tissue dissected found that there was no cancer....

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