Advance Care Planning and Advance Care Directives

Good medical practice involves facilitating advance care planning. In recent years there has been a greater focus on the role of advance care planning. This has been driven by a number of factors including Australia’s ageing population, medical and technological advances which prolong life, increased emphasis on autonomy and patient-centred care, and the provision of quality care at the end of life.



MDA National and MIGA – A Proposed Merger of Equals

The Boards of MDA National and MIGA have reached an agreement to merge, with the objective of creating a stronger medical indemnity organisation that will build on our combined heritage and invigorate our service offering to the medical profession. The merger is subject to the approval of MDA National and MIGA voting Members, the Federal Court, a number of regulators and special conditions. The merged organisation will be known as Medical Defence Australia Limited. Read more...

Editor's Note
Sara Bird

One of our Members recently asked me to use my Editor’s Note to stimulate discussion about the interaction between MDA National as a mutual organisation and our Membership. Quite rightly, the Member stated that MDA National should be part of the medical profession. Indeed, MDA National is a service organisation which is owned by our medical practitioner Members. At our core, our Group provides medical indemnity insurance, and medico-legal advisory and advocacy services. We partner with and service our Members through education, risk management services and other support.

Our challenge is to ensure that we continue to have meaningful engagement with all of our Members, not just with those Members who seek assistance under their Professional Indemnity Insurance Policy and/or via our Medico-legal Advisory Service. Along these lines, MDA National recently sought feedback from our GP Members in relation to their concerns and comments about the impact of PCEHR on them and their practices. We were delighted with the numerous, thoughtful responses we received from our Members which helped to inform our submission to the government’s recent review of the PCEHR.
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 From The Presidnet

Throwing stones at our colleagues hurts us all

“Criticism of others is thus an oblique form of self-commendation. We think we make the picture hang straight on our wall by telling our neighbour that all his pictures are crooked.” Fulton J Sheen1

A Member recently explained that she had been the subject of a complaint. She was relieved when the care she had provided was considered, by several experts, to reveal no discernible error or any breach of her duty of care. However, she was disappointed that the patient had made a complaint that had no merit. But more hurtfully, the comments prompting the patient’s complaint had been made by another doctor!

Indeed, our Claims and Advisory team has observed that complaints and claims not infrequently arise from the injudicious comments of other doctors. While some of these can be justified and seen as “setting the record straight” to clearly inform a patient of their present condition, prognosis and treatment options, others can be interpreted as nothing more than careless or intentional self-commendation.
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The information in Defence Update is intended as a guide only. We include a number of articles to stimulate thought and discussion. These articles may contain opinions which are not necessarily those of MDA National. We recommend you always contact your indemnity provider when you require specific advice in relation to your insurance policy. The case histories used have been prepared by the Claims and Advisory Services team. They are based on actual medical negligence claims or medico-legal referrals; however where necessary certain facts have been omitted or changed by the author to ensure the anonymity of the parties involved.

The MDA National Group is made up of MDA National Limited ABN 67 055 801 771 and MDA National Insurance Pty Ltd (MDA National Insurance) ABN 56 058 271 417 AFS Licence No. 238073. Insurance products are underwritten by MDA National Insurance. Before making a decision to buy or hold any products issued by MDA National Insurance, please consider your personal circumstances, and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Policy wording available at