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Medical Law Forum

Scrutiny by data: 
The 11th annual Slater and Gordon Medical Law Forum

The 11th annual Slater and Gordon Medical Law Forum with the theme “Scrutiny by Data” was held in March 2016 at Monash University Law Chambers, Melbourne. 

The Forum addressed the increasing role of big data in the regulatory sphere and its potential significance in the civil claims arena.

Ms Kate Fisher of Slater and Gordon Lawyers and Dr Ashleigh Witt, Medical Registrar of Western Health, chaired the event and Slater and Gordon is most appreciative of the assistance of Monash University and of the time offered by our speakers.

Justice Rita Zammit of the Victorian Supreme Court gave the opening address, providing a judicial perspective, with emphasis on data and expert evidence.

Dr Marie Bismark from the University of Melbourne discussed her recent research publications regarding ‘frequent flyer’ doctors, a small number of whom attract a disproportionate number of complaints and claims. Kym Ayscough from AHPRA responded with her views on the implications of that research for the health professions regulator.

Professor Guy Maddern from the University of Adelaide spoke on the topic of ‘doctors’ report cards’, showing surgical adverse outcome rates. Ms Anne Shortall of Slater and Gordon Lawyers reviewed a number of civil claim decisions wherein doctors’ skills or adverse event rates have been considered.

Dr Stephen Duckett from the Grattan Institute spoke on clinical governance issues followed by Dr Heather Buchan from the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care on the ramifications for those trying to improve quality standards.

Finally, Dr Anne-Maree Farrell from Monash University and Ms Janine McIlwraith of Slater and Gordon Lawyers coordinated the closing comments and audience discussion.

2017 Medical Law Forum

The next Slater and Gordon Medical Law Forum will be held in Sydney on Tuesday 7 March 2017.

Last year’s Medical Law Forum

“Innovation”: The 10th annual Slater and Gordon Medical Law Forum. Hosted by Australian Centre for Health Law Research

The 10th annual Slater and Gordon Medical Law Forum with the theme “Innovation," was held in March 2015. The event was kindly hosted by the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane.

Three topical aspects of the theme “Innovation” were addressed in presentations by a panel of speakers, for discussion with the audience.

Slater and Gordon wishes to thank the speaker panel:

  • Ms Katharine Philp, TressCox Lawyers
  • Mr Harry McCay, Avant Mutual Group.
  • Ms Ebony Birchall, Slater and Gordon.
  • Associate Professor Tina Cockburn, Queensland University of Technology.
  • Dr Alison McLean, St Vincent’s Hospital.
  • Ms Nikola Stepanov, University of Queensland.
  • Dr Mike Doran, Translational Research Institute, Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Video Recordings

Recordings of two of the sessions from the event are available on the Australian Centre for Health Law Research’s website:

1. The session which discussed legal regulation of the stem cell industry, including innovative services, current regulations and consumer protections is available for viewing. Please click here to view the video

2. The session which discussed the United Kingdom’s proposed medical innovation bill, Australian law concerning damages for the consequences of innovative treatment and whether Australia needs law reform to facilitate responsible innovation is available for viewing. Please click here to view the video


History: The Slater and Gordon Medical Law Forum series

The first Slater and Gordon Medical Law Forum was held in 2006 in Sydney, with the event being repeated each year since then in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Canberra.

In recent years the Forum has been held with the kind support of the Australasian Association for Bioethics and Health Lawhttps://aabhl.org/

Assistance and hosting has been kindly provided by:

    Themes: The Slater and Gordon Medical Law Forum series

    The themes for previous years have been:

    • 2006       Disclosure of adverse events to patients: Law, policy and practice
    • 2007       Expert Evidence: Formats and Failures
    • 2008       Entrepreneurial Medicine: Legal and ethical challenges
    • 2009       Litigation
    • 2010       Antenatal conversations
    • 2011       No Doctors in the Room: Medicolegal issues relating to nurse practitioners and midwives
    • 2012       The unspoken word never does harm
    • 2013       Children’s Consent: Three challenges
    • 2014       The Learning Curve: Medicolegal issues relating to junior doctors
    • 2015       Innovation