Health Alert (Australia) - June 2, 2014


In This Issue:

Judgments; Legislation; and Reports.

Excerpt from Judgments:

Victoria -

15 May 2014 - Finding into Death with Inquest of Georgia Susan Cheal 4603 / 2006 -

The inquest into the death of Georgia Susan Cheal was held in the Coroner's Court of Victoria. The deceased was a 31 year old who was seriously injured in a car accident in 1997, and which caused the deterioration of her physical and mental health. She had a complex medical history for which she received a range of medications, including OxyContin (oxycodone), from multiple treating medical practitioners. The cause of death was pneumonia combined with drug toxicity (including marijuana), smoking, pathological obesity, fatty liver and possible epilepsy. The toxicology report demonstrated the deceased had been obtaining prescription medications potentially excessive to her therapeutic requirements.

The Coroner found that prescription medications combined with her marijuana use contributed to her loss of consciousness and that poor practitioner coordination, sub-optimal (and at times dangerous) prescribing practices had allowed the deceased to access oxycodone for an extended period of time in combination with other prescription drugs. The Coroner also expressed concern that despite two of her treating doctors suspecting she was dependant on oxycodone, they did not notify the Victorian Department of Health....

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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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