Italy to Allow Living Wills and the Refusal of End-of-Life Care

NYT, 14 December 2017
Author: Elisabetta Povoledo
“Italian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday allowing adults to decide, in concordance with their doctors, their end-of-life medical care, including the terms under which they can refuse treatment. The law permits Italians to write living wills and refuse medical treatment, artificial nutrition and hydration.”
Find article here.

We must follow California’s example and repeal archaic HIV laws

The BMJ Opinion, 15 December 2017
Author: Sofia Gruskin
“Recently, my home state of California made national headlines when it repealed an HIV criminalisation law and reduced penalties for exposing other people to the virus. It was a landmark decision grounded in science and human rights that will go into effect next month.”
Find article here.

Health Care Complaints Commission v Harvey [2017] NSWCATOD 175

Decision date: 6 December 2017
“Unsatisfactory professional conduct – improper and unethical conduct. Breach of Conditions Imposed by Nursing and Midwifery Council of NSW. Whether conduct amounted to professional misconduct. Where practitioner does not attend the hearing.”
Find decision here.

De Lacy v Medical Board of Australia (No 2) [2017] QCAT 430

Decision date: 8 December 2017
“PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS – MEDICAL PRACTITIONERS – DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS – OTHER MATTERS – where the practitioner applied to the Board for the removal of conditions previously imposed upon his registration by the Tribunal by consent – where the Board refused to remove the conditions – where the practitioner applied for a review of that decision – where the Tribunal removed the conditions upon the practitioner’s registration and imposed a separate set of conditions – where the parties were subsequently requested to make submissions on costs – whether the interests of justice require the Tribunal to make an order as to costs.”
Find decision here.

An uncomfortable mismatch between control and responsibility

The BMJ Opinion, 11 December 2017
Author: Robin Baddeley
“For a hungry press, the case of Hadiza Bawa-Garba is the gift that just keeps giving. It has all the ingredients for necessary outrage: the death of a disabled child, protracted legal proceedings, and angry patient advocates who perceive the closing of ranks by a profession more willing to protect their own than admit responsibility for clinical failings. The case drives a wedge deeper into the increasingly fractured relationship between the profession and its regulator, the General Medical Council (GMC). Such professional distrust makes for good stories; suspicion sells in all directions.”
Find article here.

Amos v Western NSW Local Health District; Arnold v Western NSW Local Health District [2017] NSWCATAD 359

Decision date: 6 December 2017
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Government information – whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice the supply of confidential information that facilitates effective exercise of agency functions – workplace investigation – human resources and patient safety functions – whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to prejudice effective exercise of agency functions – whether disclosure could reasonably be expected to disclose information provided in confidence – balancing of public interests. Personal information – whether disclosure would reveal an individual’s personal information or contravene an Information Privacy Principle – whether information already revealed – balancing of public interests.
Find decision here.

DOJ Stepping Up Prosecutions Of Medical Providers Who Abuse Prescribing Authority

NPR interview, 11 December 2017
Host: Robert Siegel
“It’s believed that 80 percent of people addicted to heroin today started with prescription painkillers. The over-prescription of opioids in the U.S. has been well documented. NPR’s Robert Siegel speaks with U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about how the Department of Justice is ramping up prosecutions of medical providers who abuse their prescribing authority when it comes to opioids.”
Find transcript here.

GMC begins High Court appeal over suspension of paediatrician convicted of manslaughter

BMJ 2017; 359: j5718
Author: Clare Dyer
“A medical practitioners tribunal erred in deciding only to suspend a doctor convicted of gross negligence manslaughter from the UK medical register rather than strike her off, the General Medical Council has said in the High Court.”
Find article here.