Legal clarification of “loss of chance of a better outcome” in Australia

Neera Bhatia and James Tibballs
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja10.10225
Published online: 20 February 2012

A High Court of Australia ruling has reinstated the need for patients to prove causation of injury

The tort (ie, civil wrong) of medical negligence has recently changed, to the advantage of doctors. By its judgment in the case of Tabet v Gett in 2010 (Box 1),1 the High Court of Australia has effectively removed the concept of “loss of chance” (Box 2) as a possible course of action by patients against doctors. The doctrine of loss of chance had enabled a patient to obtain partial compensation for injury without having to prove causation.6

  • Neera Bhatia1
  • James Tibballs2

  • 1 School of Law, Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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