Recently, Emergency Physician Professor Anne-Maree Kelly from the Joseph Epstein Centre for Emergency Medicine Research was an invited speaker at the 30th Annual Medico Legal Congress (2021), a conference that brings together lawyers, legal academics and clinicians to discuss issues at the interface of law and medicine.
Professor Kelly gave two presentations. She led a panel discussing ‘When Patients Behave Badly’ which explored the issues of duty of care, use of chemical and physical restraint, patients right to refuse treatment and the potential legal consequences of detaining patients unless there is evidence that they lack capacity for decision making. She also discussed the thorny issue of balancing work place safety and duty of care.
The second presentation, using the case of Boxell & Ors, explored the difficulty clinicians can have convincing courts about clinical uncertainty and risk assessment. Using the example of aortic dissection, Professor Kelly described how ED cannot always make a definitive diagnosis and that to expect this is unreasonable. She also showed how ‘chasing’ a diagnosis for rare conditions can carry higher risk than the condition itself. It is not clear, however, how courts can be assisted to accept that balancing risks is reasonable practice in the rare events of a bad outcome.
If you would like more information about these or a copy of the presentations, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Joseph Epstein Centre for Emergency Medicine Research, click here.
On behalf of the Emergency Departments, Western Health is proud to be represented at such prestigious events.
Professor Anne-Maree Kelly leading a panel with A/Prf Tina Cockburn from QUT Faculty of Law and Bill Madden, Medical Litigation lawyer