West Australian Medical Negligence Law Blog

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

Latest from West Australian Medical Negligence Law Blog - Page 2

Coincidentally, in month or so before Christmas I have handled pre-trial settlement negotiations in relation to 2 similar cases, in the sense they both involved negligence allegations which it was claimed had led to the death of my clients life partners (in old fashioned speech: wives..). Although the background and issues with the medical care were entirely different, the first thing that was notable in each case was the rawness and severity of their persisting anger and…
My impression is that there has been an increase in recent times of cases presented before our District Court in which claimants have represented themselves, without a lawyer. A sobering example of the dangers of this course, is the New South Wales Supreme Court’s recent decision in Fan -v- South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (No. 3) [2015] NSWSC 1620. In this decision by Justice Harrison, the court dealt with the legal costs following failure of Mr Fan’s medical negligence claim.…
I read with interest the recent article in The Guardian provided an update as to the ever escalating rate of cesarean section births in Australia. The article makes all of the well-known [predictable?] arguments in favor of natural delivery. It is true, the divergence between cesarean section rates in Australia and the World Health Organization’s recommended rate is remarkable. Unfortunately, what the article does not do (and much of the debate ignores), is a ‘risk-benefit’…
Western Australia’s Court of Appeal in its decision AME Hospitals PTY, Limited v. Dixon [2015] WASCA 63, delivered on 27 March 2015, confirmed, particularly relevantly in the medical negligence claims area, significant scope for persons to bring claim outside the basic 3-year time limit for such claims arising since November 2005 and the introduction of the Limitation Act 2005. To be permitted to bring claim  beyond the 3-year time limit, Section 39(3) the Limitation Act 2005 provided…
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 in the mid 1980s by its House of Lords decision in Sidaway, that the question of what information a doctor…
I read with interest the Queensland Court of Appeal’s recent decision in relation to this matter. The Court of Appeal by a 2:1 majority overturned the trial judge’s earlier rejection of this medical negligence claim. The case involved allegations of negligence against a general practitioner for failing to refer a patient ultimately found to suffer from cryptococcal meningitis. The patient suffered a catastrophic outcome due to such meningitis, including loss of sight and hearing. Damages were…
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 DNA mutations during cell division have been found to explain 2/3 of cancers in adults. Such research, emphasises the role…
We have recently agreed to act on behalf of a client who has suffered significant irreparable facial scarring/disfigurement as a consequence of dermal fillers, she underwent earlier this year @ a slick, web-advertising, brochure wielding, ‘wellness’ clinic in Perth’s metro area (can’t you just picture the ‘world muzac’/running water + Buddha heads!). We have now handled several such cases, including an even more serious case in which the patient was left with enduring face drop…
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 soon as possible, generally within 24 hours of the incident. This includes recognising the significance of the incident to the…
As I have observed from time to time, a previously common, now almost universal sentiment of disappointment is expressed by clients when advised as to the likely scale of compensation they would be awarded by the courts for their pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life due to negligently caused injury. I have observed elsewhere the relative lack of growth in the sums awarded for such component to claims, as a consequence of legislative…