NZ optometrist missed brain tumour of six-year-old; prescribed glasses

An optometrist in New Zealand misdiagnosed a six-year-old boy with a brain tumour, instead prescribing glasses. The unnamed boy was left blind in one eye.

It is understood the unnamed optometrist no longer works as an optometrist.

The Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner in New Zealand, Ms Meenai Dugga,l found numerous breaches by the optometrist of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights, releading her findings on 12 February.

Ms Meenai also found the unnamed optometry practice liable for the optometrist’s inadequate care.

The optometrist first saw the boy in 2014 and did not perform appropriate

 

By | February 18th, 2018|Legal|

Visually-impaired driver jailed in UK after killing pedestrian

A driver in the West Midlands in the United Kingdom has been sentenced to three years in jail for killing a pedestrian he could not see due to his low vision, according to press reports.

According to The Express and Star, driver Peter Scriven’s Nissan car struck 65-year-old pedestrian Arthur Fletcher, who was thrown onto the other carriageway and killed in Dudley last December.

The report from Wolverhampton Crown Court said Mr Scriven, 60, was blind in one eye and had reduced sight in the other but had not been for an eye examination or disclosed his condition to the DVLA. He could not read a registration number more than three metres away when tested.

Mr Scriven pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was also given a three-and-a-half-year driving ban.

 

By | November 22nd, 2017|Legal|

Poor-sighted driver given suspended sentence after fatal accident

A man in the United Kingdom convicted of causing death by careless driving has been given a suspended three-month jail term after driving into the path of a motorcyclist just a few weeks after having his eyes tested.

According to BBC News, the driver, Mr William Searle, 74, told Exeter Crown Court he “did not see” Jerry Daniell’s motorcycle as he drove off a garage forecourt in Newton Abbot, Devon last September.

He reportedly told the court this was two weeks after having an eye examination at Specsavers, but he failed the number-plate test wearing his glasses on the day of the tragedy.

An ophthalmologist told the court that Mr Searle’s diabetes may have resulted in the development of blind spots, and he was banned from driving for 18 months.

A Specsavers spokesman said: “Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragic accident. If a visual field and visual acuity assessment are required by DVLA to inform decisions on individual driving licence renewals, applicants are referred to their choice of Specsavers store for the visual assessment.

“The optometrist has accompanying responsibilities to ensure all applicable General Optical Council guidance and requirements are followed. The outcome of the assessment is then sent to the DVLA which makes the licensing decision.”

 

By | November 19th, 2017|Legal|

Court throws out appeal to challenge overturned conviction of UK optometrist

An appeal against an optometrist’s overturned conviction for gross negligence manslaughter has been thrown out by the Supreme Court in the United Kingdom and will not be considered by the court.

The court took less than a minute to turn down the application for an appeal by the prosecution to have the case hear by the Supreme Court.

Gross negligence manslaughter

Optometrist Honey Rose had her conviction for gross negligence manslaughter overturned by the Court of Appeal in July.

Ms Rose received a two-year suspended sentence in August last year after the death of her patient, eight-year-old Vincent Barker, from a build-up of fluid on the brain.

Five months before Vincent’s death, Ms Rose performed an eye examination on the child.

Following the July acquittal, the prosecution applied to take the case to the Supreme Court, claiming the law on gross negligence manslaughter is “not satisfactorily clear”.

By | October 29th, 2017|Legal|

California Bill expands optometrists’ role

The California Governor, Mr Jerry Brown, has signed legislation that proponents say will expand the practice of optometry in the state.

Effective from 1 January 2018, the new legislation, according to the COA:

  • Allows therapeutic pharmaceutical agent–certified (TPA) ODs to use all non-controlled substance medications, non-invasive medical devices and technology that are Food and Drug Authority indicated for a condition optometrists can treat. As new technologies are made available, the State Board of Optometry may authorise their use by optometrists via regulation.
  • Clarifies optometrists may prescribe currently allowable drugs “off label.”
  • Allows TPA optometrists to prescribe Tramadol for up to three days.
  • Allows TPA optometrists to treat hypotrichosis (allowing optometrists to use the prescription drug Latisse).
  • Clarifies TPA optometrists may treat blepharitis.
  • Allows TPA optometrists to give intravenous injection for the purpose of performing ocular angiography under a supervision protocol, allow TPA optometrists to collect blood by skin puncture for testing patients for diabetes, and allow TPA optometrists to use a skin test limited to the superficial layer of the skin to diagnose ocular allergies.
  • Allows TPA optometrists to use a needle to remove foreign bodies, allow glaucoma-certified optometrists to treat steroid-induced glaucoma, and eliminate many of the protocols in current law and consolidate the referral requirements.
  • Allows TPA optometrists

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By | October 17th, 2017|Legal|

COAG toughens National Law

Penalties for offences committed by people are to be increased for those who hold themselves out to be a registered health practitioner, including a medical practitioner or an optometrist or any of the other 12 health professions covered by National Law.

The decision to do so includes those who use reserved professional titles or carry out restricted practices when not registered, the Australian Health Workforce Ministerial Council (the Ministerial Council) of the Coalition of Australian Governments agreed.

Custodial sentences 

Ministers also agreed to proceed with an amendment to introduce a custodial sentence with a maximum term of up to three years for those offences.

The reforms will be fast tracked to strengthen public protection under the National Law. Preparation will now begin on a draft amendment bill, with a view to being introduced to the Queensland Parliament in 2018, along with mirror legislation in other jurisdictions.

Ministers also discussed mandatory reporting provisions for treating health practitioners, agreeing that protecting the public from harm is “of paramount importance” as is supporting practitioners to seek help and treatment for their health concerns, including for their mental health and well-being.

The ministers agreed practitioners should be able to confidentially seek treatment for health issues while preserving the requirement for patient safety.

Mandatory reporting

It was agreed that the Australian Health Ministers’

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By | September 17th, 2017|Legal|

ODMA and Expertise Events mediation concluded

MEDIATION between the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association of Australia and Expertise Events over their dispute in regard to copyright, address list, etc was concluded on 4 August.

The mediation was held on 4 August; the matter was resolved at the mediation conference; and the matter is now concluded.

Registrar Tesoriero made that order in Sydney on 4 August, which was stamped on 8 August.

No further information is available.

What it was all about:

An ex-parte injunction granted by the Federal Court of Australia to ODMA against Expertise Events on 16 December 2016 was thrown out “in its entirety” by Justice Burley on 3 March.

Justice Burley found that ODMA had not made out its claim that the court should maintain the injunction against EE and that the evidence did not indicate any material harm would occur to ODMA if the injunction was discharged.

The injunction was granted by Justice Farrell of the Federal Court on 16 December against EE, the former organiser of ODMA’s 2013 and 2015 trade exhibitions, after hearing ODMA’s claim that EE had breached its intellectual property rights by soliciting for business using ODMA’s address information, as well as being in breach of copyright.

EE not present when orders were made

EE was not notified of the application hearing and was not present when the

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By | August 29th, 2017|Legal|

• From top of page

What it was all about:

An ex-parte injunction granted by the Federal Court of Australia to the Optical Manufacturers & Distributors Association of Australia against Expertise Events on 16 December 2016 was thrown out “in its entirety” by Justice Burley on 3 March.

Justice Burley found that ODMA had not made out its claim that the court should maintain the injunction against EE and that the evidence did not indicate any material harm would occur to ODMA if the injunction was discharged.

The injunction was granted by Justice Farrell of the Federal Court on 16 December against EE, the former organiser of ODMA’s 2013 and 2015 trade exhibitions, after hearing ODMA’s claim that EE had breached its intellectual property rights by soliciting for business using ODMA’s address information, as well as being in breach of copyright.

EE not present when orders were made

EE was not notified of the application hearing and was not present when the orders were made by Justice Farrell.

The injunction meant that EE was unable to use its own address lists from 16 December until the injuction was discharged by Justice Burley on 3 March ­– a critical period to seek exhibitors and attract visitors to the SILMO Sydney exhibition, which commences this coming Thursday at the

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By | August 29th, 2017|Legal|

UK optometrist’s manslaughter conviction overturned

British optometrist Ms Honey Rose’s conviction for manslaughter by gross negligence was overturned at an appeal hearing on 31 July, Optician reports.

Ms Rose given a two-year suspended sentence last August, however appeal judges ruled there had been a “serious breach of duty’” by her, but said it did not constitute the crime of gross negligence manslaughter.

An ongoing fitness-to-practise hearing before the UK’s General Optical Council is likely to follow the overturning ruling.

During her trial, a jury was told was that Ms Rose failed to notice that eight-year-old Vinnie Barker had swollen optic discs when she carried out an examination at a branch of Boots, in Ipswich.

Inappropriate

Sir Brian Leveson, sitting with two other judges, said the court had concluded that “in assessing reasonable foreseeability of serious and obvious risk of death in cases of gross negligence manslaughter, it is not appropriate to take into account what the defendant would have known but for his or her breach of duty.”

“Were the answer otherwise, this would fundamentally undermine the established legal test of foreseeability in gross negligence manslaughter which requires proof of a ‘serious and obvious risk of death’ at the time of breach.

“The implications for medical and other professions would be serious because people would be guilty of gross negligence manslaughter

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By | August 9th, 2017|Legal|