The Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal has found a doctor guilty of prescribing an unapproved treatment and providing dietary advice resulting in a child going into anaphylactic shock.

The doctor specialized in the treatment of eczema. The method of treatment prescribed by the doctor involved mixing of two other topical prescription medicines to produce a combination treatment. This resulting combination is not an approved prescription and concerns were raised to the doctor by colleagues about this, as well as the excessive potency. There were also recorded instances where medicines were prescribed in inappropriate circumstances or where the patient was under the care of specialists and the doctor made little or no attempts to consult with them.

In a separate incident, the doctor recommended goat’s milk to a patient, departing from accepted medical practice. The doctor failed to note the patient was already using an expensive milk substitute which should have alerted him potential dietary issues. The child went into anaphylactic shock, requiring adrenaline treatment.

In addition to censuring the doctor and imposing a $10,000 fine, the Tribunal also ordered the doctor be supervised for three years and to pay $145,000 towards the costs of the investigation and proceedings.

Alan Knowsley
Medical Lawyer