Duty of care breached by antibiotic misuse

The way in which bugs have become resistant to antibiotics within two generations of their discovery is one of the great tragedies of human history, says Dr Krispin Hajkowicz, an infectious diseases physician and a senior lecturer at the University of Queensland.

"My view is yes doctors are to blame," he has told colleagues at a Gold Coast conference hosted by the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID).

"The people of the world want to hold someone accountable. Using the approach of a medical litigation claim, it can be shown that the current crisis was largely foreseeable, that doctors had a duty of care to preserve the precious resource of effective antimicrobials and that they breached this duty of care," says Dr Hajkowicz.

He points to evidence from studies showing up to half of all antibiotic prescriptions are inappropriate. At the same time attempts to improve standards are failing.

He says national guidelines enforced

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