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VIC Written a Book on Hospital Experience - Can I be Sued?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Kalifa, 13 September 2014.

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  1. Kalifa

    Kalifa Member

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    I've written a book detailing my illness which began 25 years ago, until very recently. I have detailed the attitudes of nurses, doctors, surgeons, physios and so on, but not mentioned anyone by name.

    Little anecdotes about other patients with whom I came in contact appear in the book, also anonymously. I have referred to a particular nurse as "Indian" - not in a racist manner, but simply to record that she couldn't understand a patient defying a Medical Specialist because it couldn't happen in her culture.

    Can I be sued for defamation?
     
  2. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    How can we help you?
    Is there a specific question?
     
  3. Sarah J

    Sarah J Well-Known Member

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    From what you have provided, no. This does not appear to constitute defamation. If it is your opinion, experience and/or you can support that it is the truth and you have written it in a way where the characters cannot be identified, then you should be alright.

    However, best to have an editor read through it to double check.

    Is this what you are concerned about?
     
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  4. Kalifa

    Kalifa Member

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    Thank you for answering my question. That is what concerned me. It has been edited and the editor thinks it is OK. Is there anything more I can provide for further opinion? Regards, Freda
     
  5. AnnaLJ

    AnnaLJ Well-Known Member

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    Hi Kalifa

    To err on the safe side, I would consider removing any details from the book that may make you and/or the hospital and its employees identifiable. You might want to consider using a pseudonym for the author name and changing around some of the descriptions in the book.

    If you wanted to be extra cautious, you could include a line in the preface stating this is based on a true story, but that the characters used in the book do not bear any resemblance to real persons etc etc. Of course this takes away some of the appeal of the book in terms of it being a true story...

    Alternatively, if you are confident that what you are writing in the book is the truth and you have exercised some discretion to at least not make the hospital identifiable, I would feel reasonably confident that if someone tried to sue you for defamation you could raise 'truth' as a defence to that claim.

    I hope that helps

    Anna
     
  6. Kalifa

    Kalifa Member

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    HI Anna - thank you for your thoughts about my book. I'll take your advice into consideration with my editor.
    Regards, Freda
     
  7. Kalifa

    Kalifa Member

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    Dear Anna - thanks again for your help with my query about the book I've written. I've been unwell during the past coupld of weeks and inadvertently deleted all advice and answers which you so kindly sent. Would it be possible to have everything sent again please? Regards, Kalifa -(alias Freda)
     
  8. lawanswers

    lawanswers Moderator
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    Hi @Kalifa
    Please scroll up to see the earlier responses in this thread.
     

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