142593 - Doctors Acting as Medical Witnesses
Medical practitioners hold a high level of clinical independence resulting from highly specialised knowledge and skills on which their patients, the general public, the health care system and Australian judicial system rely upon.
Expert medical evidence is often critical to the administration of justice in legal proceedings involving health and medical matters. A medical practitioner may be called as a medical witness to give evidence in court, at a tribunal, or as part of an alternative dispute resolution process. Expert evidence provided by doctors can assist the courts or alternative dispute resolution process in making informed, fair decisions.
This module aims to help you understand the AMA Ethical Guidelines for Doctors Acting as Medical Witnesses 2011. Revised 2016 should you be called upon as the treating doctor or an independent expert witness.
The AMA’s Code of Ethics encourages doctors to “recognise your responsibility to give expert evidence to assist the courts and tribunals”.1
The AMA’s Ethical Guidelines for Doctors Acting as Medical Witnesses 2011; Revised 2016 2 provides clear guidance for medical professionals who may be called upon as the treating doctor or an independent expert witness in the Australian judicial system.  AMA Code of Ethics 2004. Editorially Revised 2006. Revised 2016  News article: Australian Medicine 3 July, 2011 by Peter Ford. The AMA’s Federal Council recently approved the Ethical Guidelines for Doctors Acting as Medical Witnesses 2011, which updates and consolidates its previous guidelines and position statement into one document. https://ama.com.au/ausmed/medical-witnesses-%E2%80%93-updated-guidelines-doctors