Questions about multidisciplinary teams

Cockburn, Tina & Madden, Bill (2015) Questions about multidisciplinary teams. Precedent, 127, pp. 12-17.

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Multidisciplinary care (MDC) involves health professionals from a range of disciplines working together as a team (a multidisciplinary team – MDT) to deliver comprehensive care that addresses as many of a patient's needs as possible.

Writing in 2011, Wilcoxon and others concluded: ‘Multidisciplinary care is accepted as best practice in cancer treatment planning and care.’ Yet their report (of the national audit of multidisciplinary cancer care in Australia) indicated that two-thirds of the surveyed hospitals did not have a MDT. Further, they found that where teams did exist, one-third of patients were not told that their case would be discussed by the team; the MDT-recommended treatment plan was not included in the patient’s record one-quarter of the time; and less than 1 per cent of teams reported routine attendance by the tumour-specific minimum core team.

There is sparse case authority as to the potential medico-legal consequences of MDC by MDTs. This article raises five questions about legal aspects of MDC for consideration. The questions are not limited to cancer care, as MDTs are increasingly used in other areas of medicine.

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ID Code: 90942
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: medical negligence, multidisciplinary teams, legal liability, damages
ISSN: 1449-7719
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Tort Law (180126)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Australian Lawyers Alliance
Copyright Statement: This article first appeared in Precedent, the journal of the Australian Lawyers Alliance, issue 127, published in March/2015 (Sydney, Australia, ISSN 1449-7719), pp12-17. It has been reproduced with the kind permission of the author and the ALA. For more information about the ALA, please go to:
Deposited On: 01 Dec 2015 22:51
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 17:15

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