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Warning of material risks: Morocz v Marshman

Factual background The patient consulted the cardiothoracic surgeon about her palmar hyperhidrosis (PHH) and was provided with a brochure about the bilateral endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy which outlined the risks of the procedure. The surgeon also discussed the risks involved with the procedure during the consultation. Following surgery the patient complained of a number of health issues which did not subside overtime....

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Doctor ordered to pay patient $10,000 compensation for privacy breach

The patient and the doctor had been acquainted through their common Islamic faith and their attendance at religious services. In 2011-2012 the patient had sought treatment from the doctor for ‘panic attacks’. In 2014-2015 the patient sent several emails to the doctor, relatives and friends after renouncing his Islamic faith. In reply to an e-mail, the doctor responded to the patient ...

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Medical negligence; failure of general practitioner to refer plaintiff for specialist treatment

Gulab Khan v Matthew Rathjen [2016] NSWDC 139 is a recent decision concerning a failure of a general practitioner to refer the plaintiff for specialist treatment after he sustained lacerations over his left hand when he grabbed a knife to avoid being stabbed during an armed robbery. The plaintiff consulted the general practitioner on two occasions in October 2011 and alleged that the general practitioner ...

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Addendum to Parens Patriae Applications – Alive and Well

The Hospital advised that the outcome of the chemotherapy had been pleasing but further chemotherapy alone would not save Oshin’s life and that a high level dose of radiotherapy was required to give him the best chance at survival. On this occasion Oshin’s parents had obtained a report from Professor Kellie, a specialist paediatric oncologist in Sydney. The report discussed the likely ...

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Guidelines for registered medical practitioners who perform cosmetic medical and surgical procedures

Cosmetic medical and surgical procedures are defined as operations and other procedures that revise or change the appearance, colour, texture, structure or position of normal bodily features with the dominant purpose of achieving what the patient perceives to be a more desirable appearance or boosting the patient’s self-esteem.  The Guidelines come into effect on 1 October 2016.  Key ...

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Parens Patriae Applications - Alive and Well

In March 2016 the Family Court of WA ordered that a six year old boy with a brain tumour undergo chemotherapy treatment after his parents had refused treatment and indicated that they wanted to pursue alternative therapies. Last week, the Qld Supreme Court ordered that a 12 year old girl may lawfully undergo an abortion when it was considered that this form of medical intervention fell outside the types of procedures for which parental consent could be given....

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Delay found to be abuse of process

The patient had died in September 2005 following an angioplasty procedure performed by the practitioner. The patient’s widow lodged a complaint in 2012. The Board took until December 2014 to file its application with the Tribunal. In July 2015, the Board amended its application to make new and very serious allegations. The practitioner applied for an order that the Tribunal dismiss the Board’s ...

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Duty of Care to Trainees – a novel approach

In Sklavos v Australasian College of Dermatologists [2016] FCA 179, Dr Sklavos made 3 claims against the College, being: The College engaged in either direct or indirect disability discrimination in contravention of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth);, The College breached a contract into which it had entered with him in respect of his training;, The College negligently breached ...

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Is the end of the 'once and for all' rule nigh?

The Law Reform Commission of WA released a discussion paper in November 2015 on provisional damages and damages for gratuitous services.  Whilst initiated in response to issues in asbestos claims, the proposed reforms are discussed in the broader context of all personal injury claims. The Commission's preliminary assessment is to propose that the "once and for all" rule of damages be modified in WA through the introduction of provisional damages....

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