Dr Bawa-Garba – Implications for Australia?

9 Feb 2018

The recent decision of the UK High Court to overturn a decision of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal that imposed a 12 month suspension from practice on Dr Bawa-Garba, replacing this with a permanent ban, has caused significant concern among members of the medical profession – both here and overseas.

The High Court concluded the Tribunal fell into legal error by not giving the weight required to an earlier jury verdict of manslaughter, instead reaching its own views as to the level of culpability.

The AMA is looking closely at the implications of this decision for the Australian doctors, recognising that many of the same pressures on the health system exist here. That analysis will be published once the AMA has had the opportunity to fully consider the facts of the case.

One particular area that has caused anxiety was the purported use of Dr Bawa-Garba’s e-portfolio at her original criminal trial. The UK’s Medical Protection Society (MPS) has now released a statement advising that this has been widely misreported. According to the MPS:

the e-portfolio did not form part of the evidence before the court and jury. Indeed, the court was clear that reflections were irrelevant to the facts to be determined and that no weight should be given to remarks documented after the event.”