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QLD Medical Negligence by Hospital?

Discussion in 'Personal Injury Law Forum' started by sam8576, 24 May 2015.

  1. sam8576

    sam8576 Member

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    I am after some help this last week my autistic son had an overdose at his father's place. I took him to the hospital where he was discharged about 6 hours later. The next day he collapsed on the side of the road so had to call an ambulance to take him back to hospital because I was concerned for his welfare. He had stated to the hospital staff that he was still feeling suicidal but they discharged him about 8 hours later. I tried my best to keep an eye on him and even removed most of things in my house that he could use to hurt himself.

    He overdosed again which I woke up to him doing I took him back to the hospital. He had to be put on a machine to help him breath. I have been told there is a major investigation as to why they let him out when he was still feeling suicidal and told them that he wasnt going to promise he wouldn't do it again. The answer I received from the hospital on his second discharge was that he has outside support and there was really nothing more they could do for him.

    Is this medical negligence on there behalf? I have been told to get a lawyer any help would be grateful thank you for your time.
     
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sam8576,

    I'm sorry to hear about your son, I hope he is recovering well and speaking with someone about his troubles.

    If you wish to initiate an action for medical negligence, you must do this within 3 years of the incident, otherwise, you will be time barred by law.

    To prove medical negligence, you need to show:
    • The doctors/hospital failed their duty of care (i.e. their did not use reasonable due care, skill and judgment) in this instance. Therefore, one issue will be what standard of care should doctors have when dealing with a patient with known suicidal tendencies and existing risk of harming himself; and
    • That this failure in duty of care caused the injury to your son. Therefore, you may need to show that injury suffered, and that there was a direct causal link between the doctor's negligence and your son's injury. You will likely face difficulty on this point. However, it may be arguable depending on existing case law and current accepted practices in health care in this area.
    As you can see, this matter is quite complicated. This is because (i) there are most likely differing opinions amongst doctors as to when a doctor should discharge a patient and whether supervision is recommended or mandated, and (ii) whether self-harming attempts/injuries can really be said to be caused by doctors rather than the patient. You really should talk with your lawyer about this.
     
  3. sam8576

    sam8576 Member

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    Thank you for your help is there any particular lawyer i should try and seek help from
     
  4. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I don't know anyone in this area. I suggest you ring around, speak with a few (definitely more than one). Many firms offer free first consultations, so take advantage of this. Make sure you enquire about:
    • Merits of your case
    • Whether the likely outcome is worth the costs (time, stress and money) involved
    • How the lawyer will charge (fixed fee, according to some calculation)
    • Likely disbursements (e.g. barrister fees)
     

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