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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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

Responsibility: The flip-side of Autonomy following Rogers

Posted in Contemporary Medicine, Our Cases
As those who know me will attest, I have always been an advocate for patient autonomy, and informed and involved decision-making by patients, aided (but not dictated) by their clinician. In other words, a fan of the Rogers v Whittaker sanctioned ‘approach’ to medicine following the High Court’s decision. Recently, with the growth of claims… Continue Reading

Medicine (and diagnosis) still ‘first and foremost’ for doctors + not the internet!!

Posted in Case Summary, Contemporary Medicine
Thanks to the Australian Lawyers Alliance’s weekly newsletter to members, for bring this recent case to my attention: Australian Associated Motor Insurers Ltd v Motor Accidents Authority of NSW [2010] NSWSC 833 (30 July 2010), is a recent case in which the NSW Court of Appeal per Barr AJ overturned a damages claim of more than $335,000… Continue Reading

Supervision of junior medical staff – medical malpractice, medical negligence consequences

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
Trawling the net I came across a US study 2 months ago, led by University of California-San Diego researchers which reported a 10 percent increase nationally in medication errors that killed (!) patients during the month of July, the traditional start date for new residents. One of my recurrent soap box topics is the lack… Continue Reading

Dingle + Disaster

Posted in Contemporary Medicine, Not So Serious
 I like many have watched with horror and fascination the waste that was the end of Penelope Dingle’s life.  Amongst it all, Cameron Platell, by reputation a quiet and careful surgeon, stood out for me, when explaining on 720, his frustration that his advice was being ignored, as he assured Ms Dingle of the favourable… Continue Reading

West Australian Public Hospital Performance 2009 year

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
 While trawling around looking for some information on trauma surgery, came accross this neat and convenient summary of our public hospital system’s performance against several key performance indicators for the 1st 6 months of 2009.  Makes interesting reading, particularly the ongoing ‘battle’ with accident and emergency services.   I particularly noted the pretty awful results… Continue Reading

Personal Responsibility + Society’s “Parenting” Role

Posted in Case Summary, Contemporary Medicine
Again, slightly off topic, though the broader consequences apply in a healthcare context. Read with interest the Editorial in the Weekend Australian yesterday about the High Court’s recent decision, with the less than informative name, C.A.L. No 14 Pty Ltd v Motor Accidents Insurance Board [2009] HCA 47. The facts in the case were simple: the… Continue Reading

No Use for Old Doctors!

Posted in Contemporary Medicine
Long awaited reform finally arrived this year with introduction of the Medical Practitioners Act 2008 (WA).  This was much needed and welcomed, replacing the antiquated and outdated previous legislation, the Medical Act 1894. The system for registration of practitioners and importantly, in the context in which I practice, the handling of complaints and disciplinary issues… Continue Reading

Tort Reform in the US – another reason I’d be a Democrat!

Posted in Contemporary Medicine, Overseas Cases
 Have been following (loosely) recent discussion in the US concerning health care reform.   As usual, a self-interested group, have sought to tag ‘tort reform’ (I’ve always thought a neat term for the removal of rights from the negligently injured, not sure it is ‘reform’ rather than ‘remove’) on the agenda.   Twitter (yes, I… Continue Reading

Suppression Order about Awful Doctor’s ID

Posted in Case Summary, Contemporary Medicine, Gynecology (or Gynaecology!), Obstetrics
It was interesting to read the Sunday Times newspaper’s, front page article a week ago in relation to the unnamed obstetrician/ gynaecologist recently struck off from practise in Western Australia.  I was particularly interested to read the newspapers’ editorial column concerning their strong view that the ongoing suppression order, prohibiting publication of the particular Doctors details,… Continue Reading

Surgery-Tourism – the Pitfalls?

Posted in Contemporary Medicine, Cosmetic Surgery (and Other Treatment), Our Cases
We are presently acting for a young women who paid $1,000s for cosmetic breast surgery in a well known Asian holiday destination, only for a terrible outcome. This idea of "cosmetic surgery-tourism" seems on the increase, which I think is worrying.  My concerns are reinforced given the independent plastic surgeon’s advice we have now received… Continue Reading