Doctor gave green light to epileptic driver who struck teen

Fatal crash in Brassell in November 2009.
Fatal crash in Brassell in November 2009.

SHAUN du Plessis was killed in Brassall in 2009 when a driver had an epileptic seizure behind the wheel of a car and struck a 19-year-old.

Now the doctor who gave the driver the medical go-ahead has been banned from doing the same again and has been fined $10,000 - but has avoided having his registration suspended.

A court heard Ipswich doctor Steven Hamish Andrew issued medical certificates on June 2, 2006 and November 2, 2009 to the driver known in the court judgment as AB, allowing AB to drive.

The second certificate was just weeks before the crash.

AB had a history of post-traumatic epilepsy following a head injury in 1979.

On November 26, 2009 AB had an epileptic attack on the road, passed out and struck Mr du Plessis, who died at the scene.

The court heard AB had been involved in numerous accidents that other doctors said his epilepsy may have caused.

The Medical Board of Australia took disciplinary action against Dr Andrew who admitted issuing the certificates was an "unsatisfactory professional performance".

Dr Andrew said the discipline should be a prohibition on issuing medical certificates to let people drive and a requirement he take a course teaching him how to deal with difficult patients.

The board called for his registration to be suspended for nine months as well as the prohibition and training conditions.

But Dr Andrew said suspending his registration would have hurt the community and put his full case load onto other busy Ipswich doctors.

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren said he did not think Dr Andrew was likely to make a similar mistake again - and accepted Dr Andrew's claims suspending his registration would harm the community.

Instead he ordered Dr Andrew pay a $10,000 fine plus the board's legal costs. He also banned Dr Andrew from giving medical certificates allowing people to drive.

Topics:  court doctor editors picks epilepsy ipswich

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Be the first to see controversial animated children's film

FURRY FRIENDS: Mopsy (Elizabeth Debicki), Flopsy (Margot Robbie), Benjamin, Bea (Rose Byrne), Peter Rabbit (James Corden) and Cottontail (Daisy Ridley) in Columbia Pictures' PETER RABBIT.

Advanced screening of Peter Rabbit in Lismore this weekend

Rosanna has designs on female taboo

Artist Rosanna Pimm uses 3500 porcelain tampons to created her large scale performance installation  Riots of Passage in The Quad  as part of The Lismore Women's Festival on International Women's Day. Laying down and de-constructing the mandala structure symbolises the impermanence of the menstrual cycle and an end to female inequality in the world.

Rosanna has designs on female taboo

Another win for city's calender

NO PROBLEM: Eat The Street.

Another win for city's calender

Local Partners