Insights Categories: Litigation

High court affirms parents can consent to puberty blockers on behalf of their children

UK: Winding back Bell v Tavistock[i]; High Court affirms that parents can consent to puberty blockers on behalf of their children, which are not (of themselves) part of any “special category” of treatment requiring Court approval. Abstract In AB v CD & Ors[2], the UK High Court effectively reversed the practical effects of Bell (which […]

Gender Dysphoria and Children: Lessons from R v Tavistock

R v Tavistock, Gender Dysphoria and Children: puberty blockers “interlinked” with cross-sex hormones such that informed consent extends to understanding future physical consequences of treatment; under 16s “highly unlikely” to be Gillick competent. Introduction In R v Tavistock[1], The UK High Court has held that treatment for Gender Dysphoria (“GD“) is contingent on court approval […]

Recent Applications in personal injuries claims impacted by COVID-19

Evidence and Transfer – A summary of recent Decisions of the Supreme Court in Central Queensland Key issues: Plaintiff will undergo medico-legal examination by video conference due to COVID-19 travel restrictions Is the Defendant’s request for medico-legal examination unreasonable or unnecessarily repetitious? Plaintiff’s Application for broad orders to inspect unidentified loaders dismissed Considerations of the […]

WA hospital negligent for not recognising sepsis in infant burns patient resulting in irreversible brain damage

Abstract Western Australian hospital unsuccessful in appealing a finding of negligence based on an alleged failure to suspect, recognise and treat an infant patient for sepsis subsequent to a burn injury, leading to cardiac arrest, multi-organ failure, brain damage and cerebral palsy.[1] Damages yet to be agreed or assessed.   District Court proceedings[2] Sunday Mabior […]

Supreme Court of Victoria opts to hear would-be jury trial by judge alone in an effort to keep the wheels of justice turning

As our clients will all be well aware, Victorian courts have presently suspended jury trials until further notice in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This means that unless alternatives are found, many trials will be postponed for hearing once the restrictions are lifted, and will have to jostle for court time together with the ordinary […]

A case study in causation

Chester v WA Country Health Service [2019] WADC 152 The facts Mr Chester (Plaintiff) was a 26 year old male who worked as plasterer by trade. On 31 July 2009 he suffered an injury to his left shoulder and presented to the Busselton Regional Hospital (Hospital) complaining of pain, general bruising and some grazing of […]

General practitioner successfully appeals negligence finding

Abstract A Sydney-based general practitioner has successfully appealed a finding of negligence based on an alleged failure to refer a patient for specialist treatment in the context of particular pathology results (which predated his involvement in the patient’s care) on a background of a chronic and prolonged health condition.   District Court proceedings [1] Mr […]

VCAT confirms that disciplinary consequences may befall practitioners who treat their own family

In 2019 we have seen an increased focus by AHPRA and the National Boards on ensuring the observance of professional boundaries between registered health service providers and their patients.  In our experience, investigations into professional boundary transgressions are most commonly triggered when a romantic relationship between the practitioner and the patient turns sour. However, these […]

A reminder about the potential strength of ‘usual practice’ evidence

Phelan v Melbourne Health [2019] VSCA 205 Defending or even assessing the merits of an action in medical negligence can often be challenging when the medical practitioners involved cannot recall the particular patient concerned. Through no one’s fault, memory can be impeded by the lapse of time and high patient volume loads. As such, it […]

Restrictions on the use and disclosure of confidential communications between a victim of sexual assault and treating health practitioners

Legislation in Victoria now protects the medical and counselling records of victims of sexual assault from disclosure in Court hearings.[1] The legislation is directed at:- ‘remedying the mischief of sexual assault victims being deterred from reporting or giving full information to doctors or counsellors in the course of their treatment, because of uncertainty and fear […]

Federal Court confirms strict interpretation of the 80/20 rule under the Health Insurance Act 1973

In a recent decision, the Federal Court of Australia confirmed that health care practitioners alleged to have engaged in ‘inappropriate practice’ in providing 80 or more professional services on each of 20 or more days during a relevant period are burdened with the evidentiary onus of establishing that there was an absence of alternative medical […]

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