Medico legal issues

Medico legal issues—including naming of doctors and other health professionals as part of coronial processes—continue to be an area of concern for members. The Coroner's Office is now sending the NZMA all health sector-related decisions.

HDC investigation processes and timeliness also create concerns from time to time. The NZMA will keep a watching brief and maintain regular contact with the Commissioner.

The NZMA was called by Parliament's Justice Select Committee to discuss issues of consent and information sharing, in response to a petition about parents being advised before minors undergo procedures.

The NZMA's submission on the Coroners Amendment Bill supported changes to:

  • ensure coroners' recommendations are specific to the case and evidence before the coroner, as well as clear about how the recommendations will reduce the likelihood of future deaths in similar circumstances
  • ensure coroners consider which individuals or organisations have an interest in the death and to ensure those individuals or organisations have the opportunity to give evidence or consider any recommendations that may be directed to them before the coroner finalises his or her decisions.