Posthumous DNA testing: Paternity + genetic disease inheritance

With thanks to Associate Professor Tina Cockburn for drawing attention to the recent decision in Anderson v Spencer [2018] EWCA Civ 100, which required the appellate court to revisit a lower court decision permitting a DNA sample, extracted from a deceased man (Mr Anderson), to be tested against a sample taken from the respondent to determine …

Misconduct findings + medico legal practice

In HCCC v De Saxe [2018] NSWCATOD 45, the respondent medical practitioner (a psychiatrist), faced with orders constraining his right to practice, sought to be permitted to engage in medico legal practice only. At [46] the Tribunal held that to restrict a medical practitioner to such a role would be inconsistent with the findings of the Tribunal, …

Poisoning: Blood samples, access to records + the reasonable citizen

Against the background of much reported incident in England involving the apparent exposure of two persons to a nerve agent, the Court of Protection has now published its decisions in Secretary of State for the Home Department v Sergei Skripal [2018] EWCOP 6. The same decision relates to Ms Yulia Skripal. Writing in the UK …

Body modification + the limits of personal autonomy

R v BM [2018] EWCA Crim 560 saw the Court of Appeal (England & Wales) consider charges brought against a tattooist and body piercer who added 'body modification' to his services. He was charged in relation to three body modification procedures, for which the prosecution did not seek to dispute the consent of the three persons …

Hospital complications calculator

The Grattan Institute has made available online a Hospital Complications Calculator. The website allows a person to input four factors - the area of medical specialty, age, gender and likely length of stay. The database appears to cover about 6.5 million procedures over the years 2012-2015. For example, inserting neurosurgery for a female aged 20-49 …

Older doctors: Health, performance and conduct

Health, performance and conduct concerns among older doctors: A retrospective cohort study of notifications received by medical regulators in Australia is the title of a new research paper published in the Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management, written by a large team of well-regarded authors - Laura A Thomas, Eleanor Milligan, Holly Tibble, Lay S Too, David M Studdert, Matthew …

Forced medication by depot injection

SMF v South Western Sydney Local Health District [2018] NSWSC 303 is a Supreme Court consideration of an appeal from a a community treatment order made against a person suffering schizophrenia by the Mental Health Review Tribunal. Neither party to the appeal contended that the nature of the appeal required the Public Guardian to be a …