Can you see a Doctor without a Lawyer?

Tuesday , 15, November 2016 Leave a comment

There is an interesting matter that I have been confronted with.


A patient goes to see a Medical Practitioner (who is a Doctor registered with the Australian Medical Board) about obtaining the Doctors written recommendation as to the start date for a treatment program to begin for her son.

In this case there were multiple injections involving 11 different types of medication that would be injected into the body of the 18 month old child.  The mother was concerned about a scientific report she read in the The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) which is a weekly medical journal published by the Massachusetts Medical Society.  It is among the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals[1] as well as the oldest continuously published one.[1]

The Doctor would not give her opportunity to discuss science and shut her down saying “we are not obliged to provide scientific evidence as per legal advice (Citing name of Insurer).   So now that science was off the table in things to discuss, the Doctor then discussed the risk versus benefit of the treatment, saying things can go wrong, allergic and other reactions can occur however these risks are accepted by the Australian Government who approved the treatment through the Therapeutic Goods Administration and “mainstream medical literature” says the risks are “vastly outweighed by the potential benefits.”

The discussion shifted now to a Family Court Consent Order.  For those unfamiliar with that, a consent order is an order of the Court that ratifies what the parties have agreed to do, it is not on a contested matter in trial that the Court had to make a ruling on and decide the matter.

The Court Order contained the express words that a “written recommendation as to the start date for a program to begin for their son” was to be obtained from this Doctor.  The decision that had to be made was when the treatment would start (as recommended by the Doctor) and what combination of treatments would be involved for the child with a treatment plan so the child is at a standard of care that the Government approves of in a schedule.

The Mothers concern was the report she had read in the medical journal had indicated that the treatment contained a chemical in the injection which when given to an infant in excess of 5ug per Kilogram of body weight would cause neurological developmental problems. The neurological development of the 182 surviving infants (in the study) who could be tested was assessed by using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development at 18 months of age, the very age of the infant in this case.

The conclusion in the study was in preterm infants, prolonged intravenous feeding with solutions containing the chemical is associated with impaired neurological development.  Brain Damage in Infants.

The treatment the Doctor is recommending has 650ug in a single dose way more than the 5ug/Kg that was found in the study that concluded it caused brain damage in infants.

The mother raised the question of consent and the Doctor told her the law over-rides consent and her further consent was no longer needed!

The Doctor “emphasised the rules will be that” and continued that “any obstruction to the treatment schedule will be seen as a breach in the Court Order and be referred to the police, The Police  were aware that this court order was in effect and will be enacted in this practice and were notified in person already.”

The mother “must [bring the child to] attend on the due date, even if [the child is] unwell and the decision whether to proceed or not with the treatment will be decided solely by the Doctor [without need of consent of the mother].

Keep in mind the Courts have held this treatment once administered because you consented you have no recourse to sue or complain, you were aware of the risks.  If something goes wrong, too bad, you are expected to take one for the team.


So now I ask you do you need to see a Lawyer before you see your Doctor? Going by the above, it sounds like it is almost a pre-requisite that you have one there with you or on call to answer the myriad of legal questions that have just emerged.

Here you have a Doctor erroneously interpreting a consent order as being one that stripped the mother of her right to obtain free and prior informed consent about the treatment to be administered, she is told that the Doctor upon receiving legal advice need not answer any scientific questions about the safety of the treatment, and despite your fears with the scientific report, the treatment would still be administered, without your consent as the Government and the Medical literature say that the treatment is worth the risk.

Whoa there are multiple errors in law already occurring here with the Doctor exerting undue influence upon the mother supposedly acting on legal advice.   Imagine what is going through the mothers head?  The Doctor is telling her the Doctor, Medical profession, Government all think this treatment is worth the risk and that the Court is saying she has no choice and her consent is not required and if she delays or interferes with the treatment police would be called and they are already notified.

It seems that you do need to have a lawyer to even see a Doctor today.  Not to mention this Doctor may need to now see a lawyer about the breaches to the

Good medical practice: a code of conduct for doctors in Australia.

I won’t go into breaking it down into the boring details of exactly what sections are breached but suffice to say that the mother ought to file a complaint with the Health Commissioner in her state and seek an order of clarification from the Court on the interpretation of the Court Order by the Doctor and how he could manage to get it so wrong as to think it took away a mothers right to informed consent.

On how he could get it so wrong that he would think that a Family Court Consent Order (Commonwealth Jurisdiction for newbies) is enforced by the State Police Force?   The consent order is not enforced by the police at all unless it is expressly stated in the Court Order, which in this case it is not.

On how could he get it so wrong that his duties to his patient as outlined in the code of conduct could not be disregarded to the point that he refuses to consider relevant scientific medical evidence from one of the most respected medical journals in the world nor even offer an explanation.

Can you imagine the stress and anxiety this Doctor is causing to the mother with his Dictatorship authoritarian approach?








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