case is between the applicant, The Medical Bo...
Medical Board of Australia V. Dr. Topchain
case is between the applicant, The Medical Board of Australia and the
respondent Dr. David of Topchain
practice. Dr. Topchain is a cosmetic surgeon working in Melbourne
Australia. He is a doctor licensed and
registered by the medical board of Australia. However, he got himself linked with a sexual affiliation
with a patient which caused a violation of the Health Professions Registration
Act of 2005 and also the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act of
2009. Based on the findings of the case, it was
found that Dr. Topchain involved himself with a sexual relationship with
the patient for a period between August 2009 and October 2009. It is against
the law for registered health care
professionals to engage in any form of relationship
with patients. Another finding was that Dr. Topchain involved himself with a
behavior that can be considered as
unprofessional because of trying to pay the patient to refrain from speaking
about the relationship to anyone and using a lawyer to silence her.
of the Case
July 2010 and September 2010, the doctor engaged himself in negotiations with
the patient over the signing of formal documents that would force her against exposing
any information about the sexual relationship between the two. It would also
refrain her from taking any actions
against the doctor that would disclose any dealings with the doctor. The
negotiations also involved the payment of a certain amount of money to the
patient for her silence. This was a clear
violation of the Health Practitioner Regulation
National Law Act of 2009 that is specific on professional misconduct for which Dr. Topchain was involved in with the patient.
Topchain himself admitted to the sexual relationship
with the female cosmetic patient. The
patient was twenty-one years of age at the time. She received cosmetic surgery,
and other services from the doctor during
and after they had ended their relationship. When Dr. Topchain tried to end the
relationship, the patient asked for money
and used threats until she got what she wanted from the doctor. The negotiation
with the patient and use of a lawyer came about when the patient began to ask
for money. Dr. Topchain used the help of a lawyer to establish legal mechanisms
that would refrain the patient from exposing the relationship. However, using
the lawyer to silence the patient only worsened the situation because she
continued with her threats of disclosing the details of the relationship to the
doctor’s wife as well as the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
It was at that point that Dr. Topchain
decided to report himself to the same authority and save himself from all the
trouble that the patient was causing him as a result of blackmail and threats.
The patient never notified the authorities and
never disclosed any of the information to anyone. Dr. Topchain presented the
case with the relevant evidence about the situation, and the Medical Board of Australia came to agreements with evidence
from documents and statements of facts from
the doctor and other relevant people. The board decided that the best cause of
action was to cancel Dr. Topchain’s license
for two years where the doctor would receive medical and psychiatric help. However,
Dr. Topchain suggested a three-month suspension as the appropriate
action for the case. However, the Board reserved its decision.
of the Tribunal
on the suspension by the board, it was viewed
that Dr. Topchain made significant errors
of judgment when he involved himself in a sexual
association with a patient and also vexing to avert the conduct from being uncovered. It is, therefore, clear that he was charged for two wrongdoings that all violated different laws. Cosmetic surgery is a
field that is very sensitive. Surgeons in this field are professionals that
carry out alterations to people’s appearances, which is very influential of
their self-worth, esteem and other critical
personal factors. The order by the board was for a suspension for which the
board viewed as useful for the violations
and offenses conducted by the doctor.
The actual determinations were a one-year
suspension and a two-year reprimand, and the board found it appropriate. However,
the board also considered cancellation but determined that there be no risks of involvement in sexual relations
again by the doctor after the case. The determination was sufficient to teach
the doctor a lesson and gave him an adequate
understanding of the consequences of such actions. The determination was also based on some benefits associated with
the action of self-reporting by the doctor. The information did not come from
the patient but Dr. Topchain Himself. However,
the board held that there should not be any credit given to the doctor from self-reporting. From the statements of facts and other
investigations, he only reported the matter when he found that it was getting
out of hand. The determinations were, therefore,
useful in ensuring that the doctor
received adequate punishment for his actions with the patient.
Civil and Administrative tribunal conducted the hearing where it determined
whether or not the doctor was a person of good character, a doctor who has had
unsatisfactory performance as a healthcare practitioner, a doctor whose ability
to practice had been affected, and or the
doctor engaged in unprofessional misconduct. The case involved the instituting
of whether the actions of the doctor were professional misconduct or
unprofessional conduct. These are two are legal facets that are very different from one another and therefore, have different
consequences. The application for case alleged that it was professional
misconduct which involves more severe
consequences because it is connected with
departure from medical standards of ethics and professionalism. Professional misconduct
is well defined in the Health professions registration Act in section 3 and can
be described as any action that does not
meet, to a particular degree the standard of professionalism. It can also be defined as conduct by health professionals that is different to the exercise
of the health profession and would then validate that the professional is not
of good personality. According to the board as well as the statements by Dr. Topchain,
the actions of the doctor with the patients were clear examples of professional
misconduct. This is because his sexual
relationship with the patient was
contrary to his health care profession. In
simple terms, it can be said that his behavior
fell short of what was required of him as
a cosmetic surgeon and also what was expected
of him by the society. Medical practitioners are people placed in positions of high trust because they deal with personal
issues of patients. Sexual relationships between doctors and patients are, therefore, highly inappropriate.
For Healthcare Professionals
the above, it is clear that relationships
between patients and doctors are highly inappropriate. This is because doctors have a very sensitive position of knowledge
of personal information about their patients. Doctors and other practitioners, therefore, can easily exploit the trust of patients
because of the knowledge of their physical and psychological well-being.
Engagements between doctors and patients, therefore
have high expectations especially when it comes to matters of sexuality.
Patients expect that their engagement with doctors needs to be kept professional and not be sexualized in any way.
Doctors and other healthcare professionals also have high expectations that
patients will refrain from using their engagement with doctors as opportunities
for establishing sexual relationships with them.
The doctor-patient relationship is very crucial for
the practice of medicine. It is a relationship that forms the basis of ethical standards
within the medical field. Patients have to have confidence in the competence
and professionalism of their physicians and any other healthcare practitioner. However, for some physicians, such as
family doctors and psychiatrists, emphasis on the relationship is more as
compared to others. The development of a good rapport with a patient is essential, but
nothing further from that is expected from the engagement between the two.
The quality of the relationship between a doctor and a physician is
critical to the success of the medical service provided. A good relationship
leads to the development of sound values and perspectives on matters of
disease, service, and life in
general. It results in the provision of efficient healthcare service that positively builds up the provision.
factors are improved, thanks to the establishment of a good patient and doctor relationship.
It enhances the process of diagnosis for which a physician gets to understand
better the problem affecting the patient. Based on this case, Dr. Topchain would get a better understanding
of the issues that the patient wants to be changed
and would help develop a good plan of action. It also enhances the
understanding of the patient about the procedures and conditions affecting
them. The patient could have had a good understanding of how the procedures
would be done, the consequences, and the
plan of action the future. A poor relationship
between a doctor and a patient leads to the development of problems in the assessment
of the problem. The patient may come to
have little trust in the diagnosis and treatment plan. The situation of Dr.
Topchain and the patient is characterized by a lack of sustainability of
procedures done on the patients which resulted to the need for carrying out
multiple procedures, and it is a clear indication of problems between the two
as a result of little regards on professionalism. Patients sometimes
fail to comply with instructions given to them by physicians and also medical
advice, and this builds up to more
demand for money by the patient from the doctor is a representation of a
professional relationship that has already been
destroyed. The doctor-patient relationship had now turned
personal, and the patient did not
consider any boundaries when it comes to dealing with the doctor.
professional misconduct by Dr. Topchain is based on violations of legal requirements
well defined within the National Law in section 5. The conduct by the doctor was
less than expected of him as a healthcare practitioner. The board alleged, and at the same time,
the doctor admitted, to have taken part
in unethical behavior that violated his professional ethical standards. Ethics
within the medical field are fundamental.
This is because
of every day; physicians encounter
situations associated with ethical matters. Ethics can be defined as the study associated with principles that are
conflicting with one another. Physicians,
therefore, need to have an excellent understanding of ethical
vocabulary to ensure that their actions are in line with established and strict
ethical standards of the profession. Ethics is a factor that permeates all
aspect of the medical field. Medical training
is based on various vital doctrines on ethical matters that have
developed over time with the aim of providing
the best healthcare service. However, the terminologies associated with matters
of ethics are usually tricky, and sometimes most people fail to recognize
them in their everyday activities. There are various issues of ethics within
the field of medicine, and they include
features such as beneficence, autonomy, fidelity, and non-maleficence. In the situation involving, Dr. Topchain, factors of fidelity came up where
the doctors focused on his own sexual needs before the needs of the patients
and ultimately led to the development of sexual relations between the two. There exist very many challenges within the
healthcare field that reflect on ethical matters, and the case of Dr. Topmain
is a tremendous example. It is a case of
lack of ethical considerations on professional matters that led to illegal
activity as a result of professional misconduct.
existence of ethical problems within organization reflects negatively on the
image of the organization, its employees and the field in general. Lack of ethical
considerations is what creates scandals and other significant problems within organizations. It, first of all, leads
to legal issues that have the effect of tainting the image of the organization
from which the ethical problem occurred. A good example is the reputation of
Dr. Topchain was put at high risk as a result of his actions. The organization
in which it occurred was also significantly
affected. Legal issues include aspects
such as cancellation of license of operation for both the practitioner as well
as the organization for which he operated in. The actions of the doctor risked the
revocation of the license of the
organization where he worked. There are legal guidelines for ethical matters, and a good example are the two laws in the case.
They include the Health Practitioner Regulation
National Law act of the year 2009 and also the Health Professions Registration Act. These are two laws that offer
adequate guidelines on professional conduct as a doctor and actions that go
against the conduct can be described as
illegal. The case of Dr.Topchain and the female patient reflect on violations
of legal requirements which have consequences such as the suspension of the
license to practice and reprimand. Another consequence of lack of ethics within
an organization is the reduced performance which is evident in the case where
the threats by the patients forced the doctor to focus on o0ther matters other
than the ones associated with his profession.
focus on sexual favors from the patient
led to a shift in focus for the doctor that altered his performance. The
relationship between the doctor and the organization he worked at was high risk because of his unethical behavior.
The legal actions against him by the Medical
Board of Australia led to a complete cut
in ties between them. He, therefore, became unemployed as a result of his
actions. Credibility is also a significant
factor and is linked with aspects of
image and reputation for both the doctor and the firm he was hired. The organization was put at risks of losing all its clients
because of the notion that their doctors are usually involved with their
patients. Credibility is a critical
aspect when it comes to the success of the business. It is what attracts
customers to the organization based on the services offered. The situation
involving the doctor was, therefore, hazardous to the credibility of the
organization because of the negative implications it had on the image of the
doctor and the organization. Research ethics is a field that is focused on aspects of dignity which is
rooted in ethical matters of an organization.
values, ambiguity associated with decision making and ethical matters are
common factors affecting organizations today.
The lack of awareness and understanding of these issues is what causes many problems when it comes to decision making.
People are not aware of how ethical standards are applicable in practice and
are, therefore, very prone to problems. The lack of ethical considerations in the healthcare field
results in many problems in health care operations. Some of these
problems violate both ethical standards as well as legal requirements,
therefore, causing many problems.
unethical behavior is very important for any organization.
It is a factor that managers, as well as leaders, need to take consideration.
More focus needs to be dedicated to it,
because of how it is influential to the
success of operations within it. Ethical considerations
are a factor in proper planning. Poor planning is what leads to failure in considering an ethical
factor in the decision making and development of policies within an
organization. Inadequate and ineffective
planning leads to the development of unrealistic goals for employees. The lack
of a proper guideline regarding goals and
objectives for an organization may motivate people to engage in unethical
behavior. The case of Dr. Topmain
explores an organization that has established little to not ethical principles
for its operation. It left the doctor with no
guidelines on ethical matters and made it easy for him to engage in sexual
relations with a patient.
development of sustainable plans with realistic goals is expected to keep
employees focused and motivated to meet
the needs and objectives of the organization. Another major problem that affects
employees is the lack of awareness of ethical standards and how they are influential
to an organization. Lack of knowledge is a major contributing factor when it
comes to violation of ethical standards. It is, therefore,
necessary for managers and leaders within
organizations to teach and emphasize on an ethical
matter, the concepts behind them and how they are influential to the success of an organization. Most people
find themselves on the wrong side of ethical matters because of the lack of knowledge
of their existence, the vocabulary behind them and how they apply to their daily operations. However, for
the healthcare field, ethical matters are essential
aspects of training and research.
behavior can lead to the development of unhealthy behavior associated with
aspects of spite and lack of trust. The development of policies against unethical
behavior is very paramount in reducing instances of ethical issues within an organization. Policies which are statements
of intent play a crucial role guiding the behaviors of people in an
organization. Managers and leaders also play an essential
role in the implementation of these policies. Discussion ethical issues within
the organizations and how to go about them is also significant for successful adherence to ethical guidelines. Regular
discussions ensure that managers and employees are always aware of issues of
ethics and this makes it easy for them to follow them.
a code of conduct is an excellent measure of controlling unethical behavior. A code of conduct is necessary because it offers people with an overview of the
expectations of the organization. It, therefore,
creates specifications of what is accepted and what is not accepted in the organization. Leaders also need to offer
good examples of how to behave ethically.
Employees look up to their leaders and leading by example may offer them direction.
Reinforcing consequences for unethical behavior is also very important because
it creates accountability and responsibility for their actions. Appraisal for
ethical behavior is also critical because
it is a source of positive motivation. The case of Dr. Topchain is crucial in this
representation of ethical matters within an organization. It is associated with a situation involving a
doctor and patient relationship that goes sours because of the development of a