West Australian Medical Negligence Law Blog

West Australian Medical Negligence Law Blog

Insights On Medical Negligence Issues From The Perth Area And Throughout Australia

I have been a lawyer for 21 years, during which time I have predominantly represented injured people in pursuing compensation claims. In the last 10 - 15 years, I have focused on medical malpractice / medical negligence law and particularly claims arising from negligent medical care. Read more

Category Archives: Contemporary Medicine

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Ian Harris’ book: whistle blown and common unnecessary operations listed

Posted in Contemporary Medicine, Our Cases
I read with interest the article in last weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald concerning Ian Harris’s recent book. In the interests of full disclosure, Ian is an orthopaedic surgeon from whom we commonly seek advice, as an independent expert to review and comment on orthopaedic cases we are investigating. He strikes me as a sensible and… Continue Reading

UK adopts Rogers + ‘patient driven’ test about risks disclosure for medical treatment

Posted in Case Summary, Cerebral Palsy, Contemporary Medicine
The UK has recently altered its position in relation to the important question of a doctor’s obligations to warn their patients concerning risks of treatment. Preceding the decision in Montgomery v. Lanarkshire Health Board [2015] UKSC 11, delivered on 11 March 2015, the UK had long maintained its acceptance of the so-called Bolam principle, reiterated… Continue Reading

delay in cancer diagnosis: consequences unpredictable

Posted in Cancer Cases, Contemporary Medicine, Our Cases
I read with interest recent medical literature, reporting on research at Johns Hopkins, emphasising the role of a 3rd factor in cancer incidence. Debate has traditionally focussed on the ‘environmental -v- hereditary’ nature of many cancers.  New research, as reported, has confirmed that ‘luck,’ bad or otherwise, appears to be an even more important factor.  Random… Continue Reading

Open Disclosure – demanding expectations, but are they ever met?

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
Courtesy of my colleague (and friend) Bill Madden, I note the NSW Government has issued a Policy Directive in relation to Open Disclosure, a copy of which can be found here. I note with interest, the “MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS” of such policy: 1. Acknowledgement of a patient safety incident to the patient and/or their support person(s), as… Continue Reading

Cheesecakes + Hospitals

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
 Happy new year to all! As can be gathered, my resolution about more regular blog posts, has already gone by the by.. Anyhow, while recharging over the Christmas break, I came across the following article which interested me and takes the often held comparison between health care and the aviation industry, a step further… Who would… Continue Reading

Stroke Treatment: New Research sets longer timeframes

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
Interested talk at the recent annual ALA medical negligence conference in Sydney at which a stroke expert discussed the recently published large study of stroke treatment outcomes. Such study clearly demonstrated the benefits, in terms of survival chances, of giving patients of any age thrombolytic treatment, if attending: less than 3 hours after stroke onset;… Continue Reading

Home birth + Free Choice..

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
 I was interested (and a little horrified) to read the recent coverage of the South Australian Coroner’s findings concerning 3 foetal deaths in SA, associated with home birth in ‘non-low-risk pregnancies’ (1 at least involving a breech presentation). See for example here. Soberingly + tragically the Coroner found that in each case, had the baby… Continue Reading

Medical Claims: 2009 year figures released.

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
 The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has published another of its annual reports, providing statistics on public and private sector medical indemnity claims in Australia.  These cover the 2009 year.  Interesting reading.. Total ‘new’ claims in the year totalled 2,600, roughly equally split between public v private medical care. The more interesting figures came… Continue Reading

Study: Caesarean v Vaginal Delivery Outcomes

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
Was interested to read in the West of the James Cook Uni study to follow up outcomes and attitudes (after the event) of women choosing vaginal -v- elective caesarean section. While I defer to the experts, the more information and hard evidence, rather than ‘old wives tales’ and medical-politics, assisting women to make health decision relating… Continue Reading

Cosmetic Surgery Tourism: My Proposal!

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
As a post-script to the recent resolution of my client’s claim against a travel agency, promoting Thai cosmetic surgery, I now have to drive each day past a massive billboard on Railway Rd, Subiaco, promoting the services of another such agency. Clearly its a thriving business sector… To protect those uninformed enough to think that… Continue Reading

Medical Negligence + Morality…

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
Odd and uncomfortable territory for a lawyer to touch upon… As is now a matter of public record, I act for Saba Button and her parents in relation to her claim arising because of her terrible complications from the flu-vax in 2010. There has been recent media interest in the fact an approach has been… Continue Reading

Lap Band Surgery + Alternatives: The Risks + Benefits

Posted in Contemporary Medicine, Cosmetic Surgery (and Other Treatment), Our Cases
Working yesterday and today on a very tragic case for the family of a young women who died after weight-loss surgery, in 2007. The women underwent a sleeve gastrectomy, one of the 2 most common forms of weight-loss (or bariatric) surgery, performed in Australia today. While working on the case, I thought it worth sharing… Continue Reading

The Radiologist + GP: Communication with the Patient

Posted in Cancer Cases, Contemporary Medicine, Our Cases
I recently came across an interesting article in a medical insurance journal, discussing the responsibilities of a radiologist to ensure communication of important x-ray or other radiology test results.  The conclusion of the article was that the radiologist has responsibility for prompt first-hand communication with the referring GP, but the article stopped short of suggesting… Continue Reading

Study Results: Medical Claims Improve Quality of Medicine

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
I read with interest a recent article, referring to research being published in the well respected, Medical Journal of Australia. The research related to a survey of 3,000 doctors, concerning their attitudes towards medico-legal issues. The thrust of the article is along the lines of "isn’t it terrible such doctors practice in fear of a medico-legal… Continue Reading

Delay in diagnosis of Cancer: Compensation post Gett

Posted in Cancer Cases, Causation Issues, Contemporary Medicine, Our Cases
One of the most emotionally demanding, complex and ultimately, often rewarding categories of case handled by medical negligence lawyers, are those cases arising from a negligent delay in diagnosis of cancer. At any one time, I am generally acting in 4 or 5 such cases. Following the High Court’s decision earlier this year, in Tabet… Continue Reading

Northam Tragedy: An Addendum

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
As the media coverage continues, another thought that occurred to me today, is why is it not possible for there to be a well-recognised easy to follow chart for Accident and Emergency staff at remote hospitals (accepting for present purposes Northam would be accepted as such), as to observation or triage findings which should mandate… Continue Reading

Andrew Allan: Northam Tragedy Accident Emergency – Questions to be Asked

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
I, along with probably a large portion of the West Australian adult population read with horror the story in this weekend’s papers, concerning the tragedy relating to Andrew Allan who died within hours of being seen and sent home at Northam Hospital’s accident and emergency on Thursday evening. The cause of death for young Andrew… Continue Reading