Panel hearing summary 2013.0179

Decision of the Medical Board of Australia

Performance and Professional Standards Panel

Jurisdiction: Western Australia

Date of Hearing: 15 November 2013

Date of Decision: 15 November 2013

Classification of Notification:

Informed Consent – Lack of consent

Allegations

It was alleged that the plastic surgeon behaved in a way that constituted unsatisfactory professional performance under section 191(1)(b)(i) of the National Law, in that they failed to obtain informed consent for a change of breast implant size.

Finding

The Panel found the allegation proven and that the practitioner had behaved in a way that constituted unsatisfactory professional performance in that the patient had not given their informed consent.

The panel found that immediately before the procedure, the practitioner asked the patient, who was under sedation from her pre-operative medication, to select a different implant size as the size she had chosen was not available. This request, which was made in the operating theatre, was not appropriate, particularly given the patient’s judgment and capacity to consent were compromised at the time and because she had a history of changing her mind about size (having done so twice previously).

The panel noted that the practitioner has changed their practice since this incident and improved their record keeping processes about informed consent. The panel also heard that the practitioner would now respond differently in a similar situation and would cancel the operation.

Determination

The panel decided to caution the practitioner.

 
 
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