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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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No basis for extension of time

On 12 June 2010 the plaintiff, then 9 weeks pregnant with a confirmed intrauterine pregnancy, was admitted to Geraldton Regional Hospital Emergency Department after experiencing severe chest and abdominal pain. She was observed for six hours and treated for indigestion. A pelvic ultrasound later revealed an ectopic pregnancy that had ruptured her left fallopian tube and caused significant internal bleeding....

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Appeal against alleged failure to diagnose melanoma

The NSWCA’s central inquiry in the appeal was about the appearance of the lesion when the deceased first attended his GP. Due to the inadequacy of the notes taken by the four doctors who had treated the deceased, evidence about the appearance of the lesion was dependent on the recollections of the doctors and the deceased’s wife. The NSWCA ultimately accepted the evidence of the treating ...

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Battery and negligence - Incisional hernia repair

The operation was performed by a surgical registrar under the supervision of a specialist general surgeon. Post-operatively, the plaintiff developed a severe infection associated with the placement of surgical mesh over the region of the hernia dissection. The plaintiff re-presented to the hospital on two further occasions after the operation. The plaintiff’s primary case was in battery alleging ...

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Consumer Protection announces review of retirement village contracts

Acting Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard advised that the investigation will examine various contracts offered by retirement village operators to see if they breach the "unfair contract terms" provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). One focus of the investigation will be the 'deferred management fees' or 'deferred residency fees' often payable when a resident vacates their unit....

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Be Careful of New Employees Bearing Gifts

Two ex-employees of the appellant Lifeplan, a company engaged in the business of fund management and the provision of investment products including funeral bonds and pre-paid funeral products, joined Foresters, another friendly society in late 2010. Foresters’ business included similar investment products and pre-paid funeral products as that provided by Lifeplan. Shortly prior to leaving ...

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HR Toolbox Edition 4 - 2017

1.  Latest decisions. Here to stay: casual conversion clauses introduced in modern awards The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has found that casual employees on modern awards should be entitled to elect to convert to full-time or part-time employment, subject to certain rules and restrictions. Casual employees will be eligible to convert to permanent employment sufficient to a qualifying ...

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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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