Australia: Health Alert - 19 March 2012

Last Updated: 20 March 2012
Article by Andrew Forbes


United Kingdom

Tony Nicklinson v Ministry of Justice [2012] EWHC 304 (QB)

Tony Nicklinson (claimant) became paralysed from the neck down after suffering a stroke. Due to his appalling lifestyle, the claimant sought declarations from the High Court of Justice in England that:

  1. It would not be unlawful for a doctor to terminate his life on the grounds of necessity.
  2. The criminalisation of voluntary active euthanasia and assisted suicide is incompatible with his human right to respect of private life.
  3. Existing law contravenes human rights in that it fails to regulate the practice of active euthanasia.

The role of the court was to determine whether he had any real prospect of success at trial.

The claimant submitted in (a) that the defence of necessity arose because only death could end his unbearable suffering and the doctor would be fulfilling their duty to respect his rights of autonomy and ease his suffering.

The court held that the claimant had an arguable case under (a), finding that it is preferable for parliament to decide on such issues, but a law court may decide on a case-by-case basis, that the common law position potentially lacked logic (he could lawfully end his life but an assistant cannot) and that his arguments have not yet been put before a court.

For similar reasons, the court found that he had an arguable case under (b) as an alternative. The court refused (c) as the argument did not relate to his circumstances and was not based on his asserted rights.



Health Insurance (Poly Implant Prosthese MRI) Determination 2012 - F2012L00566 " as made


Australia. Department of Health and Ageing

Media releases

The 2012 seasonal influenza vaccine contains the same influenza strains used in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Although the influenza strains are unchanged, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends annual vaccination is recommended because immunity to influenza wanes overtime. More information on influenza - ATAGI's clinical advice for immunisation providers regarding the administration of 2012 trivalent seasonal influenza vaccines (March 2012) - Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) statement on the 2012 seasonal influenza vaccines - TGA statement on 2012 seasonal influenza vaccines for use in children Report to Parliament: Pharmaceutical Industry Discussion Group (PIDG) - 13 March 2012 - Report to Parliament on the meeting of PIDG to identify and examine potential unintended consequences of the 2010-11 Budget Measure Further Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Pricing Reform. The Report of the first meeting was tabled in Parliament on 13 March 2012 and is available on the Department of Health and Ageing website:

Australia. National Health and Medical Research Council

Research Tracker – 9 March 2012 edition

Australia. Therapeutic Goods Administration

Australia. Private Health Insurance Administration Council

Circular 12/05 - 13 March 2012 - Appointment of Council Members

Australian Capital Territory. Department of Health

Media release

New South Wales. Ministry of Health

Media releases

Information bulletin

South Australia. Department of Health

Media releases

SA Mental Health Training Centre eLearning - eLearning involves the use of a computer or electronic device or even a mobile phone in some way to provide training, educational or learning material. elearning is not just about online delivery using the internet or intranet. CD-ROM and DVD can be used to provide learning materials for elearning too. eLearning can be "on demand". It overcomes timing and distance issues. The Mental Health Training Centre recommends the following eLearning sites. Mental Health Professional Online Development (MHPOD) (First time users please complete a MHPOD registration form located under Related Resources) - Square – suicide, questions, answers & resources - Non Violent Crisis Intervention - CPI - Online Outcome and Casemix Measures Training

Tasmania. Department of Health & Human Services

Media releases

13 March 2012 - Child Health and Parenting Service update

Victoria. Department of Health

Media releases

  • 14 March 2012 - Coalition secures land for new hospital in Charlton - Minister for Health David Davis announced today a major milestone in Charlton's flood recovery has been achieved with the purchase of land for a replacement hospital.
  • 13 March 2012 - Healthy eating advice line opens - Practical, healthy eating advice through a telephone advice line is now available for early childhood services and schools with the appointment of Nutrition Australia to deliver the Victorian Healthy Eating Advisory Service.
  • 13 March 2012 - Call for nominations in the 2012 Minister for Health Volunteer Awards - The awards celebrate Victoriaˇ¦s dedicated volunteers and recognise the very positive way they contribute to healthcare delivery and enriching the patientˇ¦s experience.

Western Australia. Department of Health

Media releases

New Zealand. Ministry of Health

14 March 2012 - Consensus Statement on Vitamin D and Sun Exposure in New Zealand - The Ministry of Health and Cancer Society of New Zealand, with support from ACC, have developed a Consensus Statement on Vitamin D and Sun Exposure in New Zealand.

14 March 2012 - Vitamin D Status of New Zealand Adults - This report presents findings about the vitamin D status of New Zealand adults, from the 2008/09 New Zealand Adult Nutrition Survey.

13 March 2012 - New Zealand Primary Care Handbook 2012 - Cardiovascular risk assessment and diabetes screening, cardiovascular risk factor management, management of type 2 diabetes.

9 March 2012 - Maternity Consumer Survey 2011 - The Maternity Consumer Survey 2011 contains two separate reports: the Maternity Consumer Satisfaction Survey of women who had live babies, which was carried out by Nielsen NZ, and the Maternity Consumer Survey of Bereaved Women, which was carried out by Research NZ with support from Sands NZ.

United Kingdom. Department of Health

Metal on metal hip replacements - The Chief Medical Officer and the NHS Medical Director have written to senior managers in the NHS raising awareness of the MHRA Medical Device Alert, making recommendations about the Read more ¨ . Metal on metal hip replacements

Update on grant allocations for adult personal social services - A letter issued in February 2012 provided information on the final adultsf personal social services specific revenue and capital grant funding for local authorities for the period 2012-13. LASSL(DH)(2012)1 Read more ¨ . Update on grant allocations for adult personal social services

Vision and model for school nursing sets out framework for local services - A vision and call to action for school nursing services is published today. It sets out an ambition that the service vision and model for school nursing services developed through Read more ¨ . Vision and model for school nursing sets out framework for local services

A summary of the NHS Trust Development Authority consultation - A response to the consultation on the proposed establishment of two Special Health Authorities has been received. It was on behalf of the East and Midlands Strategic Health Authority. Read more ¨ . A summary of the NHS Trust Development Authority (NTDA) consultation

Evaluation report of the Youth Justice Liaison and Diversion Pilot Scheme - In 2007 the Department commissioned a pilot programme of six pilot schemes for improvement in health provision within the youth justice system and provision of help for children and young Read more ¨ . Evaluation report of the Youth Justice Liaison and Diversion Pilot Scheme

Chief Dental Officer (CDO) spring newsletter - The CDO Update spring edition has been published. It covers topics such as consultation on relaxing restrictions new dental contract reform events held in Leeds and London dentist develops patient Read more ¨ . Chief Dental Officer spring newsletter

Australian Medical Association

AMA takes action to prevent bullying

- Today, 16 March 2012- In recognition of the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) today released two new practical tools to help raise awareness of child and adolescent bullying and its health effects and to provide sound advice about who people can turn to for help. The Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, The Hon Peter Garrett MP, and AMA President, Dr Steve Hambleton, launched the two new AMA brochures at Mascot Public School in Sydney this morning.

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DLA Piper Australia is part of DLA Piper, a global law firm, operating through various separate and distinct legal entities. For further information, please refer to

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