Complementary & orthodox medicine: Professional misconduct findings

A decision published today Health Care Complaints Commission v Nguyen-Phuoc [2015] NSWCATOD 81 considered the position of a medical practitioner practising complementary or integrative medicine.

The tribunal held that if the practice of complementary medicine exposes patients to a risk of harm or adverse consequences, that  constitutes professional misconduct. See for example [137] where it was said “continuing to prescribe thyroid extract and hydrocortisone to patients with normal blood levels the respondent was not practising orthodox medicine, and in doing so he has exposed patients to a risk of potential harm“.

It was also held that a medical practitioner issuing prescriptions for medications while suspended constitutes professional misconduct.

A lesser finding of unsatisfactory professional conduct was made on the basis of a medical practitioner failing to maintain proper clinical records.

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