Tina Cockburn - Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Faculty of law - The Aftermath of the Dr Reeves Prosecution

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Tina Cockburn delivered the presentation at the 2014 Obstetric Malpractice Conference.

The Obstetric Malpractice Conference is only national conference for the prevention, management and defense of obstetric negligence claims.

For more information about the event, please visit: http://www.informa.com.au/obstetricmalpractice14

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Tina Cockburn - Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Faculty of law - The Aftermath of the Dr Reeves Prosecution

  1. 1. Type of claims Function Onus and Standard of Proof Outcome Civil claims: Tort law (negligence and trespass) Promote individual rights 1. Plaintiff must prove elements of cause of action - Trespass - Negligence 2. Balance of probabilities Monetary compensation – award of damages
  2. 2. Type of claim Function Onus and Standard of Proof Outcome Discipline Protection of the public (not punitive) Maintain high professional standards Deter others 1. Regulator must establish: Unsatisfactory professional conduct; Professional misconduct 2. Briginshaw standard – more serious allegation requires higher degree of probability to satisfy burden. -  Fine -  Public sanction - Caution - Supervised Practice - Suspension - Cancellation of registration
  3. 3. Type of claim Function Onus and Standard of Proof Outcome Crime Punish offenders Deterrence Compliance Crown must prove elements of offence Beyond reasonable doubt 1. Voluntary action 2. Mens rea: moral blameworthiness - Intention to harm or reckless conduct Criminal conviction - Fine - Non-custodial orders - Prison
  4. 4. • Crime arises out of doctor - patient relationship • Patient harm: •  assault • Murder/ manslaughter • Crime tangental to medical practice - medical practice provides a means to commit crime • Access to drugs • Indecent contact • Vulnerable persons •  Crime arises out of doctor – patient relationship • Aware no consent, or reckless • Consent vitiated • > Trespass • (assault/battery) • Crime incidental to professional status – accused happens to be a doctor. Identity Treatment: Consent Treatment: Gross Negligence (Injury/death) Opportunity

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