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Growing Stronger Podcast Ep #10: Dr Blackstock and Medical Misconduct

Growing Stronger Podcast Ep 10 - Dr Blackstock And Medical Misconduct

In episode 10 of our podcast, Growing Stronger, Tanya Chapman is joined by colleagues and health law specialists Tom Lyons and Lucie Dei Rocini to discuss the disturbing medical procedures that resulted in cosmetic surgeon Dr Blackstock being removed from the register of medical practitioners and banned from practising medicine for 7 years.

Catherine Henry Lawyers is handling negligence claims for over 150 former patients of Dr Blackstock. For many years, Dr Blackstock performed “cut price” breast augmentation operations involving inadequate planning, substandard techniques, and ineffective anaesthesia. In most of the cases we have seen, the patients require further surgery to fix the problems caused by Dr Blackstock.

Although not an elder law case, we wanted to cover this litigation because it demonstrates the importance of patients understanding the particular skill set of doctors they entrust to perform their surgery. Many people would not realise that general practitioners – or GPs – can hold themselves out as cosmetic surgeons although having no specialist qualifications in surgery. It’s important also that people know that poor surgical work can be challenged and the costs of further surgery recovered in many instances. There are therefore important public interest issues involved.

This is a case where being better informed can help people protect and stand up for themselves.

Join the Growing Stronger Facebook group

To continue the discussion join our Growing Stronger Podcast Group on Facebook. Engage in conversation with other listeners and our host, Tanya Chapman, on the cases we have covered, plus more.

Case: Health Care Complaints Commission v Blackstock [2020] NSWCATAD 110

Guests: Tom Lyons and Lucie Dei Rocini from the Health Law team at Catherine Henry Lawyers

Note

  1. This is a brief summary of the topic and the case law covered in the episode and is not a full transcript of the recording.
  2. The case discussed in the episode is a NSW case, so what we’re discussing will be based on the law in NSW and is not intended to be taken to be applied Australia-wide.
  3. While this podcast is aimed to be informative, it is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. For any matter we discuss, we summarise, skip over parts that may be too technical and only generalise. You should still see a solicitor for complete advice that relates directly to your particular situation.

Warning

This topic may be considered disturbing – there will be brief discussion of medical procedures and adverse medical outcomes. Listener discretion is advised.

SUMMARY

The case we’re looking at today took place in the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal. The Health Care Complaints Commission had made an application to the Tribunal for Dr Leslie Blackstock’s medical practitioner registration to be cancelled and for orders that he cannot reapply for registration for 7 years.

The Health Care Complaints Commission (which I’m just going to refer to as the Commission from now on) filed several complaints against Dr Blackstock, including:

  1. He failed to conduct appropriate pre-operative assessments of patients
  2. He failed to obtain proper informed consent from his patients
  3. He inappropriately sat sedated patients up during surgery to comment on or consent to the implants
  4. He failed to provide adequate post-operative care for his patients
  5. He invited friends and family to come into the operating room to obtain their opinion of the implants
  6. He failed to keep appropriate records,
  7. In one instance, he performed a labiaplasty at the same time as a breast augmentation, and
  8. In two cases, his surgical plans for the patient were wholly inadequate.

The Commission argued that Blackstock’s conduct is unsatisfactory professional conduct of such a serious nature that it justifies the suspension or cancellation of his registration and constitutes professional misconduct.

We won’t go into each patient’s case in great detail, but we have chosen a few of the patient’s stories to give you an idea of Blackstock’s general procedures. Procedures that amounted to unsatisfactory professional conduct and left his patients in excruciating pain and with ongoing deformities and medical issues.

More client stories

Catherine Henry Lawyers has successfully helped clients Melissa Harrison and Krystal Bailey settle their respective cases against Dr Blackstock. You can read their stories at the links below:

Dr Blackstock Victim Settles Claim for Botched Breast Implants | Our Client’s Story

Negligent Breast Augmentation Performed by Suspended Cosmetic Surgeon | Our Client’s Story

Information resource

The below information resource outlines the options available to people who wish to take legal action or make a complaint against Dr Leslie Blackstock:

Health professional misconduct – Dr Leslie Blackstock

Media coverage

Catherine Henry was interviewed on an episode of A Current Affair featuring a story on Dr Blackstock’s inappropriate practices. You can watch the segment here.

You can listen to all Growing Stronger episodes below:

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