A plea for professional independence

Hans Peter Dietz and Barrie J Stokes
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja11.11064
Published online: 6 February 2012

When “should not” becomes “must not” — how mandatory compliance with guidelines can threaten professional independence

There is a proliferation of rules and red tape at all levels of society. In New South Wales, for example, the Department of Health has been generating around 70–100 policy directives a year. Among other things, such directives tell obstetricians when and how to deliver babies — compliance is mandatory, under threat of disciplinary action and loss of indemnity cover.

  • Hans Peter Dietz1
  • Barrie J Stokes2

  • 1 Sydney Medical School Nepean, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Discipline of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Online responses are no longer available. Please refer to our instructions for authors page for more information.