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Annual Obstetric Malpractice Conference

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

8 – 9 August 2017 | Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne

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The Annual Obstetric Malpractice Conference continues to cover key medico legal obstetric issues, recent cases and offers unique networking opportunities between top obstetricians, midwives, neonatal staff, barristers and other legal professionals.

This is the premier event of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region and has been very well-received over the last 8 years.

No other event brings together such an excellent representation of top obstetric surgeons and barristers and other legal professionals with key addresses from leading obstetricians, midwives and lawyers, making it a key event on the obstetric, midwifery and legal calendar.



8:50 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

9:00 am

  • Sometimes women decline a course of action recommended by their caregiver
  • It is important that informed consent be seen as a process not a singular event
  • This session explores the informed consent process, suggesting ways that caregivers can engage constructively with women to achieve the best outcome

9:40 am

In 2010 significant changes were made to the legislation governing assisted reproduction in South Australia. The review of such changes was conducted from December 2015 to January 2017, with the report being tabled in parliament in April 2017. This talk will discuss the findings and recommendations of the report including;

  • A responsive regulatory system in areas of rapidly changing technology
  • The establishment of a donor-conception register
  • Access to A.R.T.
  • The need for long-term research, record-keeping, and follow up

10:20 am

  • Definition of FGR – Which fetuses are at risk of poor perinatal outcome?
  • Detection of FGR – How can we do better?
  • Management of pregnancies affected by FGR

11:00 am

Morning refreshments and networking

12:10 pm

  • The value of interprofessional education in improving safety and clinical outcomes
  • The influence of changes within the clinical environment on professional working relationships
  • The varying power relationships that create barriers on interprofessional education and the clinical environment
  • Strategies that can be implemented to overcome these barriers

12:50 pm

Lunch and networking break

1:50 pm

  • Case Study – The Johnson & Johnson / Ethicon Class Action
  • Common manufacturer defences – The tactics that Clinicians need to be aware of
  • The positive action that clinicians can take to assist and protect patients
  • Where to now legally for clinicians using Transvaginal Mesh Implants

2:30 pm

  • Despite strong awareness of women’s rights, refusal of recommended care is stressful and complex for clinicians
  • A documentation and communication process provided reassurance about medico-legal, professional and reputational risks, but was limited by narrow and inconsistent uptake
  • The PACT (Personalised Alternative Care and Treatment) process offers a robust and woman-centered approach to refusal of recommended care

3:10 pm

Afternoon refreshment break and networking

3:30 pm

Wrongful Birth Damages in Australia – Difficult Questions and Incomplete Answers

Associate Professor Tina Cockburn, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, QUT Faculty of Law, Brisbane

Bill Madden, Special Counsel, Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers

4:10 pm

  • Communication strategies in delivering bad news – Multidisciplinary, use of ultrasound (often to explain and confirm loss), techniques on explaining what has happened
  • Adequate and appropriate documentation, photos, information collection, autopsy, genetic testing
  • Appropriate communication with other health professionals
  • Multidisciplinary perinatal loss – Follow up with all information available
  • General issues eg: Lactation, contraception

5:10 pm

Closing remarks from the Chair

5:20 pm

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

8:50 am

OPENING | Opening remarks from the Chair

9:00 am

KEYNOTE ADDRESS | Overview of the Key Regulation Midwifery Standards and Guidelines

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN, Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Tanya Vogt, Executive Officer, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

9:40 am

  • What are we seeing in Victoria?
  • What does national and international experience tell us about the future?

10:10 am

This session aims to provide a practical approach to managing risk using data, insights and claims case studies and takes a statewide view on:

  • How insights and data improve our risk management
  • The lessons we have learnt from claims and other insights
  • Statewide VMIA Maternity Risk Initiatives

10:40 am

Morning refreshments and networking break

11:10 am

  • How far have we come and what more is needed to reduce rates of stillbirth – Examination of the Lancet findings and situation in Australia
  • Medico legal issues and compensation for psychiatric injury for perinatal deaths – A look around the country
  • Discussion about McManus v Murrumbidgee Local Area Health Network [2016] NSWSC 1347

12:30 pm

John F Kennedy said “Too often we…enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought”. This session discusses the prospect of applying some of the principles associated with expert witness conclaves to the process of obtaining a second opinion in obstetrics and neonatology. The panel will present different perspectives on what the legal framework has to offer, how that might be applied in a clinical setting, and the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach. Medical, legal, midwifery and consumer perspectives will be considered and delegates are encouraged to participate in the discussion.

1:10 pm

Lunch and networking break

2:10 pm

CONSUMER PERSPECTIVE | Listening to Women – The Birth Dignity Survey

Ellen O’Keefe, President, Safe Motherhood for All

2:50 pm

CLOSING ADDRESS | Medical Chaperones – Problems with the Third Wheel

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

3:30 pm

Closing remarks from the Chair

3:40 pm

Close of conference


Packages Price
Package(Two Days) $2595+GSTEarly Bird
Packages Price
Package(Two Days) $1995+GSTEarly Bird
  • Special Price Discount for Group Bookings
    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.


Professor Deborah Davis

Clinical Chair and Professor of Midwifery, ACT Government Health Directorate and University of Canberra

Dr Sonia Allan

Health Law and Regulation, Consultant

Dr Julia Unterscheider

Consultant Obstetrician, The Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne

Professor Michael Peek

Maternal Fetal Medicine Subspecialist, The Canberra Hospital and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Associate Dean, The Australian National University

Dr Helen Cooke

Clinical Midwifery Consultant, NSW Pregnancy and Newborn Services Network (PSN)

Jan Saddler

National Principal and Manager, Shine Lawyers’ Class Actions Practice

Bec Jenkinson

Mater Research Institute and School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, The University of Queensland

Associate Professor Tina Cockburn

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

Bill Madden

Special Counsel, Carroll & O'Dea Lawyers

Dr Adrienne Gordon

Senior Lecturer, Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology, Central Clinical School, NHMRC Early Career Fellow, Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney

Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN

Chair, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Tanya Vogt

Executive Officer, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia

Sarah McPherson

Head of Medical Indemnity Claims, VMIA

Liz Cox

Head of Medical Indemnity Risk, VMIA

Dimitra Dubrow

Principal and Victorian Head of Medical Negligence, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers


Janine McIlwraith

Principal Lawyer, Slater and Gordon Lawyers

Dr Nicole Woodrow

Obstetrician and Gynaecologist/Ultrasonologist, Royal Women’s Hospital and Women’s Ultrasound Melbourne (WUMe)

Ellen O’Keefe

President, Safe Motherhood for All

A/Professor Vinay S Rane

Consultant OBGYN and Lawyer, Melbourne Mothers and Monash University

when & where

08 - 09 Aug 2017

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne
328 Flinders St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9250 1888

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?

Tina Karas
Conference Manager
+61 2 9080 4306

Samantha Lister
Sponsorship & Exhibition Manager
+61 2 9080 4432

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