|Practitioner:||Dr Colin Frederick Wakefield|
|Charge Characteristics:|| Informed
|Additional Orders:||Complainant granted name
Complainant permitted to give evidence in private: 9942dhearprimin
|Decision with Reasons:||9942dfindings2law|
|Appeal:|| Tribunal decision upheld:
Director of Proceedings v C F Wakefield (Wellington District Court, MA No. 189/99,
28 March 2000, Ongley DCJ) upheld the Tribunal Decision
District Court decision confirmed: Director of Proceedings v C F Wakefield (High Court, Wellington, AP 74/00, 17 October 2001, Heron J) confirmed the District Court Decision
The Director of Proceedings charged Dr Colin Frederick Wakefield with professional misconduct. The particulars were as follows:
During the course of the hearing the Director of Proceedings withdrew the third particular of the charge.
The patient saw Dr Wakefield to have her shoulder injury assessed for the purpose of her on-going ACC claim. This was the first time the patient had seen Dr Wakefield. During the consultation, after examining the patient's shoulder Dr Wakefield conducted a full general medical examination which included a breast screening examination.
The majority of the Tribunal (the Chair dissenting) found Dr Wakefield not guilty.
In considering particulars one and two the Tribunal considered it clear that Dr Wakefield believed he had informed his patient that he was going to undertake a full medical examination and that the patient believed she was not adequately made aware of this. The Tribunal found Dr Wakefield made an error in his failure to inform the patient he was about to carry out the full general examination and obtain her specific consent to it. The majority of the Tribunal considered that whilst particulars 1 and 2 were established, the level of gravity fell below that required to reach a finding of professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming.
When considering particular 4 the Tribunal found Dr Wakefield clearly did not undertake an adequate breast screening examination. However, the majority of the Tribunal found that whilst particular 4 was established, the level of gravity fell below that required to reach a finding of professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming.
The Tribunal found there was no record at all concerning the breast examination and therefore particular 5 was established. The majority of the Tribunal found the level of gravity fell below that required to reach a finding of professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming.
The Chair of the Tribunal dissented and concluded that the overall gravity of the offending should and did warrant a determination of conduct unbecoming and that conduct reflected adversely on Dr Wakefield's fitness to practice medicine.
The Director of Proceedings appealed the decision to the District Court. The Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the Tribunal decision. (Director of Proceedings v W (Wellington District Court, Ongley DCJ, 28 March 2000, MA No 189/99.)) The District Court judgment was appealed to the High Court. The High Court confirmed the District Court decision (Director of Proceedings v C F Wakefield (High Court, Wellington, AP 74/00, 17 October 2001, Heron J.)