Informa Australia is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Register Your Interest


Annual Obstetric Malpractice Conference

Facilitating constructive discussion and debate around the legal, ethical and medical issues surrounding conception, pregnancy and birth

8-9 October 2020 | Virtually Delivered Event
Sydney AEDT/UTC+11

Book Now



The Annual Obstetric Malpractice Conference is the premier event of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region covering key medico legal obstetric issues and recent cases. It offers unique networking opportunities between top obstetricians, midwives, neonatal staff, barristers and other legal professionals making it a key event on the obstetric, midwifery and legal calendar.

The health and safety of our delegates, speakers and staff is our top priority that is why the Obstetric Malpractice Conference will now be a virtual event. You will still have access to the same great thought-provoking sessions and hear from leading experts including the ability to directly ask questions and engage virtually all from the safety and comfort of your own home or workplace.

Our innovative platform for the event will offer networking and matchmaking opportunities over a number of days/weeks. There will be live addresses, time for Q & A and on-demand sessions for viewing at your leisure, along with options for arranging meetings and networking at times convenient to you.

By offering a virtual event we hope to help people manage the challenges associated with coming together during travel and physical distancing restrictions in a dynamic and interactive way. We believe everyone should still be able to connect, access great content and ask questions of key obstetric, midwifery and legal experts and peers.


  • OPENING ADDRESS | Moving from transactional to relational patient care and the impact on the risk of litigation
  • COVID-19 and obstetric care
  • From Castlemaine to Carlton: Are regional and suburban mums getting a lower standard of care, or are regional and suburban practitioners held to an unrealistic standard?
  • Wrongful birth claims and the failure to provide information about genetic risks without patient consent: ABC v St Georges Health Care Trust
  • What genetic tests are available and how useful are they?
  • CASE REVIEWS | Cases that made a Difference in 2019
  • INNOVATION | Can we solve age old problems in obstetrics with novel medical technologies?
  • The difference between defensive and defendable medicine
  • Fatigue and the Obstetrician – Are you too tired to work?
  • Mandatory reporting to AHPRA in the context of mental health
  • PANEL DISCUSSION | Getting the balance right in antenatal advice: Providing the tools to navigate risks and options in the maternity journey
  • PANEL DISCUSSION | Looking after yourself legally
  • PANEL DISCUSSION | The impaired doctor

The Virtually Delivered 12th Annual Obstetric Malpractice Conference has been approved as a RANZCOG Approved O&G Meeting and eligible Fellows of this College can claim 11.5 CPD Points for full virtual attendance, this includes LIVE and viewing of on demand sessions. Certificates of attendance are issued upon completion.

For RANZCOG Members, the activity is now available to be selected within the MyRANZCOG CPD portal



Agenda timing is Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)

9:00 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

Dimitra Dubrow, Head of Medical Negligence, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

9:15 am

  • A fee for service medical care model arguably makes doctor-patient interaction transactional and less personal
  • Aversion to risk and fear of litigation may be a barrier to effective patient-centred care
  • Patients expect competence but they also seek empathy and compassion in healthcare
  • When adverse outcomes occur good communication reduces the risk of litigation

9:50 am

  • Differences in obstetric malpractice cases and outcomes coming from rural/suburban obstetric practices vs those that are city-based
  • How the differing challenges faced by rural/suburban practitioners impact upon their legal risk
  • Whether the standard of care changes based upon resourcing/staffing, etc, and whether it should?
  • Does the patient need to know if the location of care increases their risk of a poorer outcome?

11:05 am

Refreshment break

11:35 am

Genetic testing is advancing rapidly, driven by new gene sequencing technologies, and can provide precision diagnoses that is revolutionising the diagnosis of rare diseases. This presentation will summarize the latest advances in genetic testing, including when genetic testing is most likely to be useful and when it is more likely to ‘muddy the waters’.

12:10 pm

CASE REVIEWS | Cases that made a difference in 2019

Janine McIlwraith, Principal Lawyer, Slater and Gordon Lawyers

Mary Anne Hartley QC, Victorian Bar

12:50 pm

  • Overview of 3-4 areas of clinical areas which are currently having gaps in practices
  • How we can use medical devices as an approach to overcome this
  • Some touch points on how this has helped with the COVID situation
  • How does this tie in with the potential litigation we face in obstetric areas?
  • An overview of how the future may look like with these technologies

1:25 pm


2:25 pm

RESEARCH | What proportion of stillbirths and perinatal deaths can be diagnosed by genomic analyses?

Associate Professor Christopher Barnett, Head of the Paediatric and Reproductive Genetics Unit, Women's and Children's Hospital, North Adelaide & Clinical Lead of the NHMRC and MRFF funded Genomic Autopsy Study

3:00 pm

Health practice generally, and obstetrics in particular, can be mentally challenging and sometimes distressing. This session will cover when a report to AHPRA might be appropriate or mandatory. It looks at the regulatory laws around managing health concerns that may impact on a practitioner’s professional standards. The law attempts to strike a balance between ensuring health practitioners get help when they need it but also making sure risky conduct is reported. It is important that health practitioners understand the law so that they will seek treatment, without unnecessary fear of being reported to AHPRA and to understand the processes that follow a report to AHPRA. Responding to a notification in a calm and considered way will always improve the outcome.

3:35 pm

Refreshment break

3:55 pm

  • The panel will bring together an obstetrician, psychiatrist, midwife, lawyer and patient, to discuss the issue of advising women about their risks and options in antenatal care from a range of perspectives
  • Research suggests that a significant number of Australian women suffer physical and/or psychological trauma during birth. In preparing for birth and the potential complications that go with it, women (and their partners) require accurate physical assessment; quality information on risks and options; a model of care that suits their circumstances; and realistic expectations of the birth process
  • The panel will consider how this is best achieved, and the challenges that health providers encounter in finding the right balance

4:55 pm

Closing remarks from the Chair

Agenda timing is Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)

9:00 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

Dimitra Dubrow, Head of Medical Negligence, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

9:15 am

“Shared decision making” is the objective of clinical care. How can clinicians provide advice and minimise risk of complaints or litigation in the event of poor outcomes?

9:50 am

  • Disease burden from COVID-19 in Australia
  • Response of the maternity system to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Future-proofing the maternity system for further crises

10:25 am

Dealing with the impaired doctor is a major problem for health system. This discussion will look at this from a range of perspectives including the impaired doctor, the doctor treating the impaired doctor, a  regulator and an indemnifier and a patient advocate.

11:20 am

Refreshment break

11:50 am

  • What motivates the patient to become a plaintiff?
  • How do we avoid becoming the subject of legal action and the role of open disclosure?
  • Why doctors need help from an early stage in the process?

12:25 pm

  • Is post-natal physiotherapy an essential service?
  • Post-natal conditions
  • Treatment of these conditions
  • Case studies

1:00 pm


2:00 pm

  • What does the literature say about physician fatigue?
  • Is there a role for regulation?
  • What can we do to mitigate this risk in a 24/7 specialty?

2:35 pm

Obstetrics is probably the area of highest legal risk for health practitioners. In the context of scenarios based on their legal experience, the panel will discuss the steps that health practitioners can take to protect themselves from adverse legal outcomes, including:

  • Optimal documentation of procedures, particularly when incidents occur
  • Communicating well in high-risk situations, like consent for urgent procedures and adverse outcomes
  • When to notify AHPRA, including whether a mandatory report must be made
  • When to notify insurers and how to get the most out of your cover

3:30 pm

Closing remarks from the Chair

3:40 pm

End of conference


Packages Price
Virtual Pass$1695+GST
Organisation Rate$5000+GST

Flash Sale Virtual Pass: $995 + GST, use promo code P20A07FLASH.

Organisation rate now available.
For the cost of $500 per delegate, up to 10 people from the same hospital, law firm, government department or company can enjoy the virtual experience.

Important • Virtual Pass bookings
For Virtual Pass bookings, please read below before proceeding:

  • All delegate registrations must use their own email address to ensure each delegate receives a unique password to join the digital event. You cannot use one email for multiple profiles.
  • If your company is not based in Australia, check the GST box on the next page as you are not required to pay GST.



President, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Dr David Amor

Chair, Lorenzo and Pamela Galli, Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne

Mary Anne Hartley QC

Victorian Bar

Dimitra Dubrow

Head of Medical Negligence, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Janine McIlwraith

Principal Lawyer, Slater and Gordon Lawyers

Dr Vinayak Smith

Clinician Scientist, Monash University, RANZCOG Trainee, Clinical Innovation Consultant

Emily Hart

Principal Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Rob Muir

Partner, Insurance Law & Litigation (Health), Lander & Rogers

Megan Fitzgerald

Barrister, Greens List, Victorian Bar, Medical and Legal Malpractice

Professor Richard Doherty

Practitioner Member, Medical Board of Australia

Andrea de Souza

Barrister, Greens List

Shari R. L. Liby

Principal Lawyer, Medical Negligence, Slater and Gordon Lawyers

Bill Madden

Special Counsel, Carroll and O'Dea Lawyers

Associate Professor Tina Cockburn TEP

Co-Director, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Faculty of Law, Queensland University of Technology

Pip Brennan

Executive Director, Health Consumers Council

Kate Waterford

Special Counsel, Maliganis Edwards Johnson & Chair, The Australasian Birth Trauma Association

Dr Oliver Daly

Consultant Urogynaecologist and Obstetrician, Western Health

Fiona Reid

Clinical Midwifery Consultant, NSW Health Maternity Services

Professor Bryanne Barnett AM

Perinatal and Infant Psychiatrist, Board Member, The Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA) & Gidget Foundation Australia

Amy Dawes

Founder & CEO, Australasian Birth Trauma Association

Dr Andrew Pickering MBChB LLM(Health) FRANZCOG

Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in Public and Private Practice on Sydney's Northern Beaches and North Shore

Liana Johnson

Master of Physiotherapy, Women's Health

Associate Professor Christopher Barnett

Head of the Paediatric and Reproductive Genetics Unit, Women's and Children's Hospital, North Adelaide & Clinical Lead of the NHMRC and MRFF funded Genomic Autopsy Study

Dr Clare Whitehead

Consultant Obstetrician, The Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne

Dr. Rupert Sherwood

Head of Gynecology, Sunshine Hospital, Melbourne

Timothy Bowen

Manager - Advocacy & Legal Services, MIGA

Dr Andrew Pesce

Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Westmead Hospital

Benefits of attending virtually

Benefits to Attending the Virtually Delivered Obstetric Malpractice Conference

Content is King: Enjoy Curated Content
With expert sessions and industry leading speakers, delve into expertly curated content that you won’t find anywhere else.

Accessible from your devices
Learning and networking is now at your fingertips – the conferences and matchmaking platform is accessible from your laptop, tablets or mobile devices

Time Efficient and Cost Saving
Save on travelling time and accommodation costs while getting in touch with industry professionals without geographical boundaries

Business Matchmaking Live
Connect and meet with fellow attendees from all over the world by taking advantage of the AI powered matchmaking within the virtual platform.

Live and On-Demand
Wherever you are in the world, view the presentations at your leisure – either live or on-demand you’ll never miss a session.

Engage with our expert speakers
Make the most of your virtual experience by keeping updated with the latest insights and discussions, all while engaging with speakers through live polls, Q&A and more!


Check out a preview of our virtual delegate experience

when & where

08 - 09 Oct 2020

Virtually Delivered Event


Still have a question?

Kate Twentyman
Conference Manager

Danielle Newman
Senior Business Development Manager
+61 2 9080 4432

Get all the latest on Informa news and events

Informa Connect Australia is the nation's leading event organiser. Our events comprise of large scale exhibitions, industry conferences and highly specialised corporate training.

Find out more

COVID-19 Informa Connect Update + Policy
Learn More