Sleep and the Law
Considering sleep and law, only somnambulism, REM Behaviour Disorder (RBD) and sleepiness with/without sleep apnoea (OSA) will be discussed.
Somnambulism involves purposeful behaviour during slow wave sleep, possibly causing criminal behaviour. Parks, drove > 20 km, attached his in-laws, killing one and injuring the other, then drove to police and was exonerated. RBC involves acting out violent dreams with potential criminal behaviour. Sleepiness and OSA, while driving, may establish ‘mens rea’ if the driver continues, knowing (s)he is excessively tired, risking sleep. While the High Court overturned Jiminez, non-compliance with OSA treatment or driving excessively tired suggests ‘mens rea’.
Drug Driving in the UK
The UK have recently, March 2nd 2015, introduced limits for drig driving with a statutory ‘medical defence’. Drugwipes have been introduced for use at the roadside for cocaine and cannabis. Following a positive test the individual is taken to the police station for a confirmatory blood sample. All practitioners will have a duty to warn patients of the side effects of commonly prescribed benzodiazepines and opiates, among other potentially impairing drugs, in relation to driving. The offence of impairment will remain. So there will be a need for appropriately qualified experts (forensic physicians/scientists) to interpret the findings in cases where levels fall outside therapeutic range and tolerance has developed.
“A Journey through Healthcare: Ethics, Medicine and Emerging Risks”
22-23 October 2015, Pullman Hyde Park, Sydney
The MIIAA Annual Forum is one of the key annual events in the medico-legal/medical indemnity calendar. Delegates come from a wide base and include representatives of medical indemnity organisations, medico-legal specialists, legal professionals, medical and healthcare practitioners, patient advocates, reinsurers and other financial services professionals.
If you are interested in learning more about how the evolution of medicine will impact on medical indemnity, join us in Sydney.
Click here for more information and to register.
“30 Years of European Bioethics”
8-10 September 2016, Leuven Belgium
In 2016, both the European Association of Centres of Medical Ethics (EACME) and the Centre for Biomedical Ethics and Law of the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) will celebrate their 30th anniversary. An excellent occasion for the annual EACME Conference to reflect on the past, present and future challenges of European Bioethics. Where do we come from? What are the present issues at stake? And what will the future bring?