The Health News – 8 March 2016

Overview:
• The Newcastle nursing home at the centre of a year-long police investigation, where a staff member was charged with poisoning three elderly residents in late 2013, has now been accused of failing to deliver the proper standard of care in another elderly resident’s unrelated death earlier that year.

• The Chiropractic Board of Australia have told chiropractors to stop advertising claims that they can physically manipulate patients to treat diseases, infections and childhood illnesses.

• Melbourne doctor Rodney Syme could lose his medical licence and face criminal charges if he defies regulatory authorities and proceeds to help a 70-year-old man end his life.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 8th of March 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-07/newcastle-nursing-home-summitcare-wallsend-another-death/7213038

The Newcastle nursing home at the centre of a year-long police investigation, where a staff member was charged with poisoning three elderly residents in late 2013, has now been accused of failing to deliver the proper standard of care in another elderly resident’s unrelated death earlier that year.

Gwen Fowler, 83, and Ryan Kelly, 80, died, and Audrey Manuel, 90, was left in a critical condition after being injected with a large dose of insulin while at SummitCare Wallsend in October 2013. None were diabetic.

Last month, an employee of SummitCare Wallsend, who was tasked with managing residents’ care, pleaded not guilty to two charges of attempted murder and one charge of attempted manslaughter.

… the same nursing home is now being accused of a lax standard of care in relation to another death in the same year.

SummitCare operates eight residential care homes across NSW, caring for hundreds of elderly residents.

The home has routinely passed thorough Commonwealth Government audits carried out by The Australian Aged Care Accreditation Agency.

But its December 2015 audit said “management identified the need to increase diabetic medication management monitoring processes”.

Ian Murray, the lawyer acting for three of the families whose loved ones died at SummitCare Wallsend, said that was indicative of failings at the home.

“Controls like having a simple sign in, sign out sheet, having registered nursing staff present while injections took place and monitoring stock levels of the drug — we think those things are pretty straightforward and potentially could have had an impact in the cases involving our clients’ families,” Mr Murray [said]…

“I think the failures in care that we believe have occurred in this facility broadly reflect the failures in care that we have seen up and down the state and across the country.”

Ms Crebert said there was a looming crisis in the underpaid and understaffed aged care sector.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-07/authorities-crack-down-on-chiropractors-fake-health-claims/7227194

Health authorities have told chiropractors to stop advertising claims that they can physically manipulate patients to treat diseases, infections and childhood illnesses.

The Chiropractic Board of Australia issued the directive after … a number of clinics were advertising claims they could prevent caesarean births, treat diabetes, cure cancer and even fight the flu.

In a letter to be sent to all chiropractors, the Chiropractic Board said it was “concerned about a number of practitioners who were making claims in advertising that there is a relationship between manual therapy (e.g. manipulation) for spinal problems and achieving general wellness or treating various organic diseases and infections”.

Of particular concern was the number of treatment claims in advertising relating to infants and children, the board said.

“Claims suggesting that manual therapy for spinal problems can assist with general wellness and/or benefit a variety of paediatric syndromes and organic conditions are not supported by satisfactory evidence,” the statement said.

“This includes claims relating to developmental and behavioural disorders, ADHD, autistic spectrum disorders, asthma, infantile colic, bedwetting, ear infections and digestive problems.”

The chair of the Chiropractic Board of Australia, Wayne Minter, said the statement was squarely directed at practitioners who were not toeing the line.

The issue was first raised by Dr Ken Harvey of Monash University, who published an article in the Medical Journal of Australia calling for the Chiropractic Board of Australia to be sacked because of its failure to deal with complaints and enforce advertising laws.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-07/doctor-risks-jail-in-fight-for-euthanasia-laws/7221212

Melbourne doctor Rodney Syme could lose his medical licence and face criminal charges if he defies regulatory authorities and proceeds to help a 70-year-old man end his life.

Dr Syme promised to give Bernard Erica, who has terminal cancer, the lethal and illegal drug Nembutal for him to take at a time of his own choosing.

The Medical Board of Australia held an urgent hearing last month and found that Dr Syme posed a serious risk to Mr Erica and ruled the doctor was not to give any end-of-life advice or care to people.

The 80-year-old euthanasia advocate told Australian Story his options were to abide by the Medical Board, or help Mr Erica and face the consequences.

Dr Syme promised months ago to give Nembutal to Mr Erica, who has tongue and lung cancer.

The Medical Board found there were also serious risks when Dr Syme was not consulting with the rest of Mr Erica’s team of treating practitioners.

It warned Dr Syme that “any action that results in the intentional death of a person may be a criminal offence”.

In Victoria, assisting another person to suicide carries a five-year prison sentence.