Ultimate doctor liability: a myth of ignorance or myth of control?

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Publication details

Cashin, AJ, Carey, M, Watson, N, Clark, G, Newman, C & Waters, CD 2009, 'Ultimate doctor liability: a myth of ignorance or myth of control?', Collegian, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 125-129.

Collegian home page available at www.elsevier.com/locate/issn/13227696

Publisher's version of article available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.colegn.2009.06.003

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Ultimate medical doctor responsibility for the care delivered to patients by all professionals is a myth. Legally Lord Denning dismissed the myth in the mid-20th century in England. The assumption that a medical doctor is responsible for the care delivered by nurses has not existed in English and Australian law since that time, and it has been actively refuted. Yet it is a myth that continues to circulate influencing health service, state and federal health policy. For some it is a myth of ignorance and for others it is a means of control. This paper outlines the relevant case law to debunk the myth of ultimate medical doctor control.

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