The case of Jackson v Lithgow City Council

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Assessment Task 1

The case of Jackson v Lithgow City Council [2010] NSW CA 136 highlights the critical considerations which must be followed by paramedical professionals when gathering evidence for potential court cases. The Evidence Act 1995 (NSW) sets out the rules which must be adhered to for collecting ‘admissible evidence’ which can enable a court to make a reasonable and reliable judgement in a case. One of the aspects of gathering and inferring evidence is that it should be based on proof and uncertainty rather than an opinion. Moreover, s 78 of the Act states that the opinion is not applicable in court if it is based on the perception of the individual regarding the event. Since the paramedic staff were not witnesses to Mr. Jackson’s fall, their notes regarding their event are deemed as inadmissible because the inference was not supported by medical evidence. 

The Work Health and Safety Regulations stipulate that maintaining incident reports is legal requirement. Moreover, The Paramedicine Board of Australia states that in case of giving evidence, practitioners should limit giving their opinion to the extent of their knowledge and take plausible measures to ensure that the information is not disingenuous or distorted. Accordingly, the document keeping guidelines prescribe that data should be legible, accurate and up to date, which means that the record should be created as soon as the event takes place. The National Safety and Quality Health Services Standards state that the information should correctly reflect the incident that took place and should be collected by keeping in view the possible future users of the information by ensuring that exclusionary language is not utilized to record data

Assessment Task 2

By disclosing their status as being HIV positive, the patient is releasing private and confidential information. It is safe and rational to assume that the patient has divulged this information for the purpose of their own medical treatment. The legal standpoint which must be adopted in this case is associated with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Privacy and Personal Information Act 1998 (NSW). These regulations state that private information maybe released for the objective that it was provided. This indicates that the patient's status of being HIV positive can be mentioned on the patient record and revealed to the doctor or nurse once the patient is transported to the hospital. This would not be a breach of the patient's privacy and confidential information from a legal standpoint because the patient revealed this information to ensure that their health and well-being is safeguarded.

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