|Charge Characteristics:|| Informed
|Additional Orders:||Doctor granted permanent name
Complainant granted permanent name suppression: 971chearprimin
Denied application for private hearing: 971chearprimin
Decision overturned by the District Court: Dr E v MPDT (District Court, Auckland, AP No. 2154/97, 20 May 1997)
A CAC charged that the Doctor was guilty of professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a medical professional which reflected adversely on his fitness to practise medicine during the period between June 1993 and April 1996 in his management and treatment of his patient whom he prescribed hormone replacement therapy (HRT) by:
The Tribunal found that the Doctor was not guilty of professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a medical practitioner and that conduct reflects adversely on the practitioner's fitness to practise medicine.
The Tribunal accepted Counsel's submission that the test for professional misconduct as established under the 1968 Act (Ongley v Medical Practitioners Disciplinary Committee  4 NZAR 369) remained unchanged. The Tribunal also considered the effect of the words "reflects adversely on the practitioner's fitness to practise medicine" (which do not appear in the 1968 Act) but it was not necessary for it to make a definitive analysis. It accepted that something more than mere error, omission or fault was required to establish a finding adverse to the practitioner.
The Tribunal was not persuaded that the Doctor's failure to institute a formal ongoing monitoring programme for the patient constituted either professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a medical practitioner. The patient was seen regularly by the Doctor and other medical practitioners and was for all practical purposes being monitored.
The Tribunal was not satisfied that particular 2 was proven.
With respect to particular 3 the Tribunal accepted that the Doctor had failed to keep adequate records of the patients presentation of a breast lump but considered this failure did not go beyond a "mere omission" and was on its own insufficient to found a finding of conduct unbecoming a medical practitioner in terms of the Act.