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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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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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Inexact evidence on causation sufficient to demonstrate material contribution

The Plaintiff suffered from epilepsy from six years of age. In 2010, at the age of 20, the Plaintiff underwent electroencephalographic monitoring, a telemetry testing procedure requiring sleep deprivation and the withdrawal of medication to induce a seizure to determine if surgery would be suitable to address her epileptic episodes. During the telemetry procedure the Plaintiff experienced a prolonged ...

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Notifiable Data Breach scheme commences

From 22 February 2018, the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme will apply to all agencies and organisations with existing personal information security obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act). All private sector health and aged care organisations are affected by the scheme requiring them to notify the Information Commissioner and any individuals likely to be at risk of serious harm in the event of an eligible data breach....

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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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Occupational Health and Safety Blog

Whilst Western Australia never quite made it out of the starting gate, the majority of other Australian jurisdictions (with the exception of Victoria) have since enacted harmonised OHS legislation based on the Model Legislation published in or about 2010. Having spent considerable time and resources in preparation for the Model legislation that never came, it is unsurprising that many Western Australian industries are a little jaded and more than a little confused....

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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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Assault or battery case against medical staff dismissed

The applicant was employed as a security officer at Gladstone Hospital. In the evening on 2 August 2012, he was observed to be acting unusually while at work and was directed by a co-worker to attend the Emergency Department. There he was seen by a nurse and a locum doctor who believed him to be either under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs, or suffering from a medical condition that would require urgent attention....

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