The District Court of Western Australia has held that a defence of peer professional practice will not be sufficient in cases of delayed diagnosis and treatment where there is not a well-reasoned explanation for the delay based upon best practice and substantial evidence.
The New South Wales Court of Appeal found that a doctor was not negligent in misdiagnosing a malignant melanoma as a wart, in circumstances where the appearance of the apparent wart did not indicate the need for a differential diagnosis.
To what extent does a health service provider owe a duty of care to (third party) relatives of a patient who may be predisposed to a genetic condition? This is the question raised by ABC against the St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust and the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
In this case, the High Court granted special leave to appeal from the decision in DC v State of New South Wales  NSWCA 198 (summarised in the November 2016 edition of the Case Law Update), in which the State of New South Wales (the State) was held liable for the failure of the Department of Youth and Community Services (the Department) to prevent the continuing sexual abuse of two children who were the subject of child protection proceedings in the 1970s and 1980s.