Pride and prejudice: the mentally ill GP

Sydney magistrate Brian Vincent Maloney has fought a very public battle with bipolar II disorder – and because of it he very nearly lost his job.

Earlier this month he survived a motion in the NSW Legislative Council to remove him following a string of complaints about inappropriate behaviour in the years before his illness was diagnosed, including that he repeatedly asked a pregnant woman to stand up to show how pregnant she was and showing a screensaver of half-naked women to a female colleague.

In May, a NSW Judicial Commission had deemed him incapable of performing his role as a magistrate, despite his condition now being treated and well controlled. MPs’ debate centred on whether Mr Maloney remained incapacitated for the job – though for him their decision had more important implications.

“Upon your decision, in this case, depends whether a person suffering from a mental illness will dare to seek medical assistance,&rdquo