Health Alert (Australia) - 10 February 2014

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In This Issue:

Judgments, Commentary, Legislation, and Reports.

Excerpt from Commentary:

Australian Professional Indemnity Blog -

3 February 2014 - Western Australia (WA) disciplinary tribunal says its misconduct for a doctor passing a crash not to stop and offer assistance.

Eleven and a half years after a 2002 car accident south of Port Headland a radiologist has been found guilty of the Westralians’ version of professional misconduct ("improper professional conduct") but not of conduct which peers would regard as disgraceful or dishonourable, for failing to render medical assistance. The decision is Medical Board of Australia v Dekker [2013] WASAT 182. It makes a bold assertion of general application without identifying or discussing any authority about the factual scenario in question, which must surely occur regularly all over the world and — one would have thought — be much pondered.

Airedale NHS Trust v Bland - 20 years on -

(2013) 21 Tort L Rev 151.

This article reviews the seminal case of Airedale NHS Trust v Bland [1993] AC 789 in which the House of Lords permitted withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from a patient. The article focusses particularly on extensions to the Bland principle and attempts English law has made to define the term best interests, as based on English case law and legislation from the 20 years following the Bland case. The article argues that assigning a precise meaning to the term "best interests" remains elusive.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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