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Medico Legal Congress

Informa’s Annual Medico Legal Congress is Australia’s longest running event for medical and legal professionals.
9 – 10 March 2017 | Swissotel, Sydney

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Book 3 delegates and receive the 4th delegate pass at no cost - See pricing below




The 2017 congress features an impressive line-up of well informed and knowledgeable speakers, and will cover a new range of complex and thought-provoking medico legal issues.

We are delighted to announce Associate Professor Harvey Newnham, Director of General Medicine at Alfred Health will present a keynote address, Targeting Zero Harm in Victorian Hospitals- A Physician’s View of the Key Implications from the Review of Hospital Safety and Quality Assurance in Victoria.

Dr Jan Hodgson PhD, Academic Researcher and Lecturer from the University of Melbourne, and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute will also present a keynote address discussing, Medical Communication after Prenatal Testing for Down Syndrome.

Key topics to be addressed:

  • The Emergency Department: A Laboratory for Error
  • Medicinal Cannabis | The Law and its Ethical Implications
  • Increased Regulation for Cosmetic Surgery
  • PRIVACY AND SECURITY CHALLENGES | Health in the Age of the Internet of Things
  • Birth – Why Don’t We Just Tell the Truth?
  • INTERACTIVE DISCUSSION | Mental Health Issues and Health Practitioners
  • Regulating Innovation | How can we Protect Patients and Encourage Medical Advancement?
  • RESEARCH | Identifying Medico-Legal Risks of Ageing Practitioners
  • Memories, Light the Corner of my Mind……Or Do They?
  • CASE STUDY | ‘Special Medical Procedures’ and a Parent’s Ability to Consent to Surgery on Behalf of their Child
  • The Latest Disciplinary Perspectives: Recent Regulatory Reviews, Revalidation and Risk-Based Regulation – How the System Might Look in 5 Years?
  • Liability of Expert Witnesses
  • The “Quality Formula”
  • CLOSING DEBATE | Current Medico Legal Issues will be Debated from Medical, Legal Governance and Patient Perspectives using Hypothetical Scenarios

To view all approved presentations from the congress, follow the link

Please note that some speaker presentations are confidential and will not be made available.



8:50 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

A/Professor Vinay S Rane, Consultant OBGYN and Lawyer, Melbourne Mothers and Monash University

9:00 am

Targeting Zero Harm in Victorian Hospitals – A Physician’s
View of the Key Implications from the Review of Hospital
Safety and Quality Assurance in Victoria
——Redressing the balance between performance goals and safety
and quality improvement
——I mplications- Leadership, clinical governance, clinician
engagement, data management and transparency

9:40 am

——The role of cognitive and affective bias in medical error
——Why doctors “mess up” in the ED
——The important role of EBM (experience-based medicine)

10:20 am

——Overview of different legislation in Australian states and territories
——Practical implementation of laws
——Role of medical trials
——Ethical issues

11:00 am

Morning refreshments and networking

11:30 am

——Civil claims: Revisiting expert witness immunity after Atwells v
Jackson Lalic Lawyers Pty Ltd [2016] HCA 16
——Disciplinary sanctions: implications of Squier v General Medical
Council [2016] EWHC 2739

12:50 pm

Lunch and networking break

1:50 pm

There are no guidelines for information that should be provided to pregnant women regarding birth. Current information guidelines and childbirth education models deny women true choice. This presentation will illustrate how current obstetric practice is inadequate and does not conform to legal standards under current case-law. The health system is complicit in denying full disclosure of birth risks. IVF and other forms of ART have changed the demographics of the pregnant population. Pregnant women are no longer a homogenous group for which vaginal birth is always appropriate. Internet and social media have increased the health awareness of women but often present a biased source of information. Is it time the medical and midwifery approach to antenatal education and information provision reflected these changing conditions to allow women to make a more informed birth choice for themselves?

2:30 pm

This presentation will consider the current legal framework around innovation and critically assess how an appropriate balance can be struck between patient protection and encouragement of medical innovation.

3:10 pm

Afternoon refreshment break and networking

3:30 pm

——Current regulation
——Topical issues arising from incidents particularly in cosmetic day surgeries
——Potential for class actions
——Call for increased regulation and amendments to the Private Health Facilities Act

4:50 pm

Closing remarks from the Chair

5:00 pm

Informa invites all speakers and delegates to an informal drinks
reception to discuss the day’s issues and network with their peers

8:20 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

Janine McIlwraith, Principal Lawyer, Slater and Gordon Lawyers

8:30 am

Most Australian women are offered testing during pregnancy to
identify fetal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome. After a
diagnosis is made, women and their partners are usually given a
choice about continuing their pregnancy or having an abortion.
Information about the condition that has been diagnosed is material
to decision-making at this time.

This presentation will explore the nature of medical communication
within this setting and present findings from a longitudinal research
study that explored couple’s experiences of receiving a prenatal
diagnosis. The impact of communication upon patient satisfaction
and informed decision-making will be highlighted.

9:10 am

——Health services through the internet of things
——“Big data” – Balancing the risks and benefits of sharing sensitive information
——Mandatory data breach reporting
——De-identification revisited – The Privacy Commissioner’s new guidelines
——Increased liability for privacy and security breaches

9:50 am

——What are memories?
——True, recovered and false memories and the patient experience
——Case study – Patient memory vs contemporaneous documentation – Which is true?
——Patient memory and the complaints process

10:30 am

Morning refreshments and networking break

11:00 am

——The background and social context of ageing in the medical profession and the role of regulation
——A decade of research – How the law and regulatory data can be used to improve population health and the quality of healthcare
——Health, performance and conduct concerns among older doctors- A retrospective cohort study of notifications
——The implications of research for the medical profession, medical regulators, colleges and medico-legal professions

11:40 am

There are some medical treatments that a parent cannot consent to on behalf of their child. These treatments are referred to as ‘special medical procedures’ and require authorisation by the Family Court.

The presentation will focus on:
——The legal test that determines which treatments are ‘special’ and therefore require authorisation
——How treatments for Gender Dysphoria have brought the effectiveness of this test into question

12:20 pm

The Latest Disciplinary Perspectives: Recent Regulatory Reviews, Revalidation and Risk-Based Regulation - How the System Might Look in 5 Years?

Timothy Bowen, Senior Solicitor – Advocacy, Claims & Education, MIGA

1:00 pm

Lunch and networking break

2:00 pm

——Satisfaction = Outcome – Expectation
——Satisfied patients or their families do not complain
——The key contributors to good outcomes
——The expectations of patients and their families
—— How failure to recognise and address expectations can overshadow or undermine good outcomes

3:20 pm

Closing remarks from the Chair

3:30 pm

Closing remarks from the Chair


Packages Price
Package(Two Days) $2595+GSTEarly Bird
Packages Price
Package(Two Days) $1995+GSTEarly Bird

Event pricing

  • Standard registration pricing
    Standard rate: $2,595
    Hospital & Govt rate: $1,995
  • Book 3 delegates and receive the 4th delegate pass at no cost
    To take advantage of this offer, call us today on 02 9080 4307 or email
    Note: All delegates must be from the same company and register at the same time to qualify.


Vinay S Rane

Consultant OBGYN and Lawyer, Melbourne Mothers and Monash University

Harvey Newnham

Director of General Medicine, Alfred Health

Dr Andrew Walby

Director of Emergency Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

Kate Gillman

Head of Medico Legal Advisory Service, Avant Mutual Group

Ruanne Brell

Medico Legal Adviser, Avant Mutual Group

Tina Cockburn

Australian Centre for Health Law Research, QUT Faculty of Law, Brisbane

Bill Madden

Special Counsel, Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers

Anne Shortall

Principal Lawyer, Slater and Gordon Lawyers

Fiona Burns

Legal Counsel, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service

Amber Moore

MB BS FRANZCOG LLB (Hons) (also completing MLM), Royal Women’s Hospital and St Vincent’s Private Hospital Melbourne

Assoc Prof Bernadette Richards

Adelaide Law School, University of Adelaide

Sarah Lark

Special Counsel, MinterEllison


Janine McIlwraith

Principal Lawyer, Slater and Gordon Lawyers

Jan Hodgson PhD

Academic Researcher and Lecturer, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, and Genetics Education and Health Research, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Louise Cantrill

Partner, Henry Davis York

Matthew McMillan

Partner, Henry Davis York

Laura A Thomas

Senior Research Assistant, Law and Public Health Unit, Centre for Health Policy, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne

Mark Birbeck

Partner, HBA Legal

Will Goodheart

Solicitor, HBA Legal

Timothy Bowen

Senior Solicitor – Advocacy, Claims & Education, MIGA

Dr John Short

Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Christchurch Women’s Hospital

Belinda Epstein

Senior Associate, Catherine Henry Lawyers

when & where

09 - 10 Mar 2017

Swissotel, Sydney
68 Market Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
02 9238 8888

Book Accommodation with Lido Group
For your convenience Lido Group will manage your accommodation needs. Click here or call 02 8585 0808.


Still have a question?

Kate Twentyman
Conference Manager

Samantha Lister
Sponsorship & Exhibition Manager
+61 2 9080 4432

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