Doctor Uses Unregistered Medical Device, Fails to Inform Patient or Medical Tea

Date: Jan 24, 2020

In a highly unethical sequence of events, a New South Wales Doctor not only failed to disclose his personal interest in a medical device used in pelvic surgery, he also continued to use the medical device after it was stripped of registration. He also failed to inform patients it was being used, and then failed to inform the transfer team at the hospital where one of his patients was taken while bleeding profusely after an operation involving the unregistered device.

The defendant

The doctor in question had pursued a highly questionable course of action in developing said device, and using it at personal benefit to himself in multiple surgeries. He claimed to have “{divested himself” of any interest in the device, but actually set up a trust in his wife’s and son’s name and continued to benefit financially from use of the device during pelvic floor surgeries, without informing patients of his interest.

The device was unregistered, and yet the doctor continued to assist in operations in which other doctors used the device in nine subsequent surgeries, without informing patients. One of the patients developed severe bleeding and had to be transported to the hospital, at which point other medical professionals became involved (and became plaintiffs).

The claim

Among several claims of unethical behavior and failure to provide both duty of care and abide by the Code of Conduct, was a specific claim of unethical behavior in the failure to disclose the devices use in the patient who had to be transported. The bleeding as from a vascular injury, and not from medication the patient was on, as the respondent tried to claim. The failure to disclose either to the patient, the doctor who was requested to allow admittance instead of the defendant, who did not have admitting privileges and the doctors to whom the patient was handed off was considered by the doctors and a consulting professor to be an egregious breach of the Code of Conduct and not at all in line with the standard of Care.

The judgment

The court announced that the lack of ethics on part of the doctor definitely warranted stripping them of their medical license, if they had not already surrendered it. The Tribunal found that “all Complaints, subject to the Complaint that the practitioner deliberately affected the transactions to divest himself of his financial interests, to mislead the HCCC, established” The final ruling was that the conduct of the practitioner in relation to the handover constituted unsatisfactory professional conduct to such a serious degree as to constitute professional misconduct, and the practitioner was guilty of professional misconduct.

The possibility of a compensation claim in the face of such egregious behavior on the part of the doctor seems well established. If you or a loved one have experienced this type of treatment at the hands of a medical professional, contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.