Health, medicine and law

  • Language barriers, informed consent and interpreters in medical care

    16th Aug 2018

    The pitfalls that occur when patients and healthcare providers are unable to understand each other due to language barriers, and what can and should be done in such situations to facilitate communication. 

  • Implementation of the Paramedicine Board of Australia

    19th Jul 2018

    From September 2018, all paramedics across the country will be required to be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and complaints referred to the newly created Paramedicine Board, aiming to ensure the safety of the public from fake paramedics. Up until now there was no national standard for registration.

  • Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld) health claims, s9 or s9A?

    30th Nov 2017

    Confusion can arise as to the application of s9 and s9A of the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 (Qld).

  • The Urogynaecological Mesh scandal

    7th Sep 2017

    Approximately 50% of women who have had children will suffer some degree of pelvic organ prolapse. For thousands of those women, urogynaecological surgical mesh has been presented as a viable option. It is only recently that public has been made aware of the associated physical and psychological complications. 

  • Orthopaedic eponyms

    31st Aug 2017

    This glossary explains some of the more commonly used eponyms to help those outside the medical profession better understand medical reports.

  • Psychometric testing of malingering

    10th Aug 2017

    Professor Ian R Coyle discusses the accuracy of Symptom Validity Assessment Tests (SVTs) in assessing the psychological status of litigants and identifying malingering

     

  • Pain and psychological conditions

    9th Mar 2017

    Pain and psychological conditions: ‘which comes first, the chicken or the egg’?

  • Complex regional pain syndrome: a diagnostic challenge for clinicians

    2nd Mar 2017

    Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is a condition that is frequently disputed in personal injury compensation claims. Even for clinicians who regularly see cases of CRPS it can represent diagnostic difficulties. For other clinicians who see cases of CRPS less frequently, it maybe wrongly referred to as Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome or Chronic Pain Syndrome.

  • Pain medicine physicians and pain management programmes

    23rd Feb 2017

    Pain medicine is a relatively new medical speciality that can be used to assess personal injury cases where pain is a major contributing component to impairment and disability. This article outlines the specialist training, examination and expertise that distinguishes pain medicine physicians from other medical specialists and the difference between a pain medicine physician and pain management programmes (PMPs).

  • Nervous shock & psychiatric claims after the loss of a child

    16th Feb 2017

    The law in Australia as it currently stands has the capacity to compound a parent’s grief in such circumstances and generate more than justified contempt towards the legal system. Particularly given the widely accepted view across the community would be that entitlement to compensation in such horrific circumstances would be considered both reasonable and appropriate.

  • GP chaperones – is a review warranted?

    30th Nov 2016

    The need for chaperones for medical practitioners in private practice has received a lot of media attention in the past few weeks.  With attention-grabbing titles such as “Chaperone ordered for Canberra GP accused of “grooming” female patient’, and ‘Darwin doctor banned from examining women without supervision’, one would be forgiven for believing there was an epidemic. 

  • Police PTSD claims show insurers cannot be trusted - lawyers

    2nd Aug 2016

    The experience of police officers claiming compensation for PTSD shows insurance companies need to be held to account, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Lawyers call for independent inquiry into SA chemotherapy under-dosing

    10th Jun 2016

    The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) have today called for an independent inquiry into incidents of chemotherapy under-dosing at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH).

  • Systemic failures to blame for infant deaths at Bacchus Marsh Hospital

    20th Nov 2015

    Paula Shelton investigates the factors that lead to substandard medical care, injury and death. 

  • Cosmetic vs plastic surgery

    13th Nov 2015

    The difference between seeking cosmetic or plastic surgeon can be significant, writes barrister Ngaire Watson. 

  • Medical negligence law over the past year

    10th Sep 2015

    Olamide Kowalik analyses the developments in the area of medical negligence by reference to pivotal decisions in Australia over the last 12 months.

  • Nips and tucks abroad

    4th Sep 2015

    Victoria Gallanders investigates the jurisdictional issues in the fast-growing industry of cosmetic surgery tourism.

  • Courageous detention centre staff challenge the government

    1st Jul 2015

    Courageous staff from immigration detention centres have today challenged the federal government to prosecute them, as the Border Force Act 2015 commences as law. The ethical and legal dilemma posed to these professionals is considerable with the full consequences yet to come, writes lawyer Ebony Birchall. 

  • Doctors should obtain legal advice before treating asylum seekers

    19th Jun 2015

    Medical professionals working in immigration detention centres should obtain legal advice about their professional liability following new legislation which could gag them from speaking out about poor conditions for detainees, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Asylum seeker cover-up allegations constitute abuse in care

    31st Jul 2014

    Allegations that the Department of Immigration tried to cover up mental health problems amongst child-aged asylum seekers constitutes abuse in care and may leave the Commonwealth liable for a swathe of future compensation claims, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

  • Injured to bear burden of rising healthcare costs

    2nd May 2014

    Injured workers, people with disability, and people living with chronic illness will bear the burden of rising healthcare costs proposed by the Commission of Audit, the Australian Lawyers Alliance said today.

  • Future patients in the dark

    14th Apr 2014

    Future patients are currently in the dark when it comes to knowing if health practitioners have had complaints lodged about them or conditions placed upon their practice, writes Ngaire Watson.

  • Fed Gov's plain packaging law a winner - ALA

    15th Aug 2012

    The Australian Lawyers Alliance today congratulated the Federal Government on its landmark High Court win upholding the constitutionality of its plain packaging tobacco legislation against the challenge of tobacco companies.

  • More govt funds needed for drug prevention and treatment

    24th May 2012

    “Today’s Institute of Criminology Report, released by the Justice Minister Jason Clare, linking drug use levels to crime, shows the only way to stop such criminal behaviour is by diverting funds from prison construction to drug prevention and treatment,” Australian Lawyers Alliance National President Greg Barns said.

  • ALA welcomes support on health-based drugs policy

    3rd Apr 2012

    The Australian Lawyers Alliance welcomed the Australia 21 report to be released today by prominent Australians such as, Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr, former Health Minister Michael Wooldridge, former AFP Commissioner Mick Palmer and former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery QC, arguing that the 40-year war on drugs has failed and a new approach, that includes decriminalising some substances, should be adopted.