Conditional fee expert evidence – should it be excluded?

The issue of expert evidence, given on the basis that the expert only be paid should the party retaining him or her succeed, has been the subject of some debate. The Australian Medical Association appears uncomfortable with any such arrangements, stating in the current  Ethical Guidelines for Doctors Acting as Medical Witnesses - 2011:5.7 It …

NDIS legislation passed

The National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (Cth), assented to on 28 March 2013,  created the framework for an Australian national disability scheme, including eligibility criteria, age requirements, and what constitutes reasonable and necessary support. The scheme is to be called DisabilityCare Australia.A website for the scheme has been created at ndis.gov.au 

Criminal penalty for false data in cancer drug research

Writing in The Conversation today, Odile Gotts & Reema Rattan report:A British scientist convicted of scientific fraud last month for falsifying research data has been sentenced to three months jail. Steven Eaton is the first person to serve time under the UK’s Good Laboratory Practice Regulations, 1999.Eaton had tampered with data from pre-clinical trials of an …

Appeal allowed in obesity surgery case

The New South Wales Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal brought by Dr Varipatis, against a judgment previously obtained against him by Mr Almario. In Varipatis v Almario [2013] NSWCA 76, the Court of Appeal held (quoting from the summary provided by the Court):   1. A general practitioner may be obliged, in taking …

Blood transfusion order: 17 year old, Jehovah’s Witness faith

Whilst an adult may refuse life-saving treatment and there are a number of examples where a court has ordered treatment of a young child against a parent's religious preferences, this matter deals with the situation of a 17 year old, in a position to express his own wishes. Such persons are sometimes called 'mature minors'.The …

New edition: Ethics & Law for the Health Professions

Ethics and Law for the Health Professions by Ian Kerridge, Michael Lowe and Cameron Stewart is a cross-disciplinary medico-legal book published by Federation Press.The new 4th edition has been extensively revised and updated to take account of developments in law, biomedical science, healthcare delivery and bioethics. Sections dealing with critical reasoning, problem solving, professionalism, negligence, standards of …

3% of doctors draw 49% of all complaints

Released today by BMJ Quality & Safety onilne is a fascinating and novel research report by Marie Bismark & others, entitled Identification of doctors at risk of recurrent complaints. The research results arguably hold significant implications for the health complaints commissions, the Medical Board and the medical indemnity insurers. The authors explain: The distribution of …

Health care rights of pregnant women

The AMA today released its Position Statement on Maternal Decision-Making.The Position Statement highlights the AMA’s policy on maternal decision-making, where a pregnant woman has the same right to privacy, body integrity, and to make her own informed, autonomous health care decisions as any competent individual. 

Canadian birth trauma case: Ediger v Johnston

Ediger v Johnston is a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada which addresses causation of bradycardia by an attempted mid level forceps delivery.The doctor did not take precautions to ensure that, in the event of bradycardia, the child could have been delivered by Caesarean section without injury.  He took no steps before beginning the mid‑level forceps …