'Doctors suffer too': Ex-coroner pushes for reform of inquest system

Too many medical negligence hearings are about finding someone to blame, says barrister Hugh Dillon

Former coroner Hugh Dillon spent years investigating negligent medical care — he now says the coronial process is flawed.

“It took me two to three years to properly understand medical evidence and it took me at least five to develop a reasonable level of expertise.”

This isn’t the confession of a medical student. It’s the view of Hugh Dillon, who spent nine years as the NSW deputy state coroner.

Inquests are a vexed issue for many doctors.

The hearings frequently centre on medical care, but judgements about doctors and their decisions are issued with 20/20 hindsight, stripped of the complexity and confusion of the real-world medical practice. 

Mr Dillon has now returned to the bar as a barrister. But he’s also become a noisy critic of the coronial system he once presided over.  

Read more: