Medical Board of Australia v Siow  SAHPT 1 is a recent decision, also the subject of comment today in the Medical Observer newspaper. It has a number of interesting aspects including futile treatment, and at the same time, a lack of palliative care advice.
The Board alleged, and the doctor conceded, professional misconduct in that despite an awareness of the patient’s terminal illness and prognosis, the doctor devised a nutritional and detoxification program and referred the patient to other medical practitioners. Overall the doctor conducted himself and made statements to the patient and his family members that continued to engender an unreasonable expectation on their part as to a positive outcome for the patient contrary to the prognosis.
Issues were also raised in respect of the doctor’s qualifications, deficient patient records and lack of appropriate palliative care.
The practitioner was reprimanded, was subjected to a fine and was subjected to orders / mentoring for the treatment of patients with terminal illness.