Bundaberg and beyond: Duty to disclose adverse events to patients

Madden, Bill & Cockburn, Tina L. (2007) Bundaberg and beyond: Duty to disclose adverse events to patients. Journal of Law and Medicine, 14(4), pp. 501-527.

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Although much excellent work has been done in Australia and elsewhere to improve the safety and quality of health care provision, the practice of medicine is inherently risky – adverse events sometimes occur. In Australia, practical guidelines for the open disclosure of adverse events to patients have been developed and are being implemented. State and Territory medical boards have recently adopted Codes of Conduct which include disclosure provisions, although the Australian Medical Association's Code of Ethics does not yet contain express patient disclosure provisions. There is a dearth of authority concerning legal obligations to disclose known or suspected adverse events. Although many Australian jurisdictions have introduced statutory protection for those who apologise or express regret to patients following an adverse event, there is no corresponding express statutory disclosure obligation, unlike in some parts of the United States. The Bundaberg experience illustrates the complex ethical, practical and legal issues which arise in this area.

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ID Code: 10204
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please contact the author: t.cockburn@qut.edu.au
ISSN: 1320-159X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Tort Law (180126)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Health Care Administration (111709)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Law Book Company
Deposited On: 17 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2015 00:39

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