IntroductionDear George, Thank you for your instructions. I don't believe you acted negligently on the basis of your treatment and provision of advice to Michael. Your failure to report Michael's positive test results for HIV does appear to leave you with a case to answer in terms of the possibility that Holly may choose to make a claim against you, in that you were bound by statute to report Michael's test results to the Secretary of the Director general of the Department of Health pursuant to the Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 2001 (Vic). On the basis of the facts of your case, I forward to you my advice and subsequent recommendations.
DutyThere is no question as to whether a duty of care was owed to Michael in this case. As the professional relationship you have with Michael (of which this case is concerned with) is that of a doctor and patient.
"The law imposes on a medical practitioner a duty to exercise reasonable care and skill in the provision of professional advice and treatment" with regard to patients they see. "That duty is a 'single comprehensive duty covering all the ways in which a doctor is called upon to exercise his skill and judgment' . More specifically, "[t]o ascertain the precise content of this duty in any particular case it is necessary to determine amongst other issues, what in the circumstances constitutes reasonable care and what constitutes ordinary skill in the relevant area of medical practice. These are issues which necessarily direct attention to the practice or practices of medical practitioners" . However, this situation does beg the question as to whether you owed a duty of care to Holly as a third party.
Although there have been very few cases in Australia that have considered the issue as to...