Aged care & consent for dental treatment

Following a 2013 conviction of a dentist in New South Wales for assault following dental treatment of nursing home residents, a similar issue (though not leading to criminal prosecution) arose last month in Victoria, in the matter of Dental Board of Australia v Hussain [2014] VCAT 643.

The Board brought slightly differing complaints against two practitioners, but collectively asserted professional misconduct or unprofessional conduct through the failure to obtain the fully informed consent of aged care patients (or a person authorised to give consent) before the giving of treatment; and by making deficient patient records in respect of more than 20 patients examined at a residential aged care facility. Reprimands and education orders followed.

With thanks to Associate Professor Tina Cockburn for drawing this matter to my attention.