The setting is the city of Melbourne in the latter half of the 19th century, when it grew rapidly, due to the extensive amount of gold flowing from mid-Victoria. It concerns Dr James Beaney, a very colourful and controversial surgeon, who amassed a fortune from his practice, and displayed it in the jewellery he wore. He was, however, a generous benefactor to the Melbourne University and hospitals in Melbourne, as well as to his birthplace, the city of Canterbury in Kent. Beaney, not for the first time, after his re-appointment to the Melbourne Hospital was implicated in a court case following the death of a patient he had operated on for a large bladder stone. The inquest is outlined in considerable detail and the skill displayed by James Purves, the brilliant young barrister who defended him, will be evident to the reader.
“One of the most interesting and enjoyable books I have read for some time. Beaney was a colourful character in a booming time in Melbourne, and this has been brought splendidly to life by Brian Collopy.”
– Professor Sir Peter Morris, AC, FRS, FRCS, Nuffield Professor of Surgery Emeritus, University of Oxford
|Publisher:||IP (Interactive Publications Pty Ltd)|
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About the Author
He has conducted numerous studies addressing the quality of care at the hospital, inter-hospital and national levels, has authored or co-authored over 150 papers published in peer-reviewed journals, and has spoken extensively on the subject.
Amongst a variety of roles in relation to the quality of health care he was President of the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS), which conducts a national hospital accreditation program. With ACHS he developed clinical performance measures, which are now used in a number of other countries, and provide the ACHS with a unique national clinical database. Other offices include being Chairman of the Advisory Council of the International Society of Quality Assurance (ISQua) and the Advisory Committee on Elective Surgery (ACES) in Victoria.
He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1993 and received a Fellowship of the Australian Medical Association in 1996.
Currently he is the Director of CQM Consultants, formed to assist health care organisations to assess the quality of their care. In this capacity he has guided tertiary referral hospitals on performance measurement and assisted organisations such as the Department of Health in South Australia, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Correctional Health Services, and New South Wales Mental Health. He has also assisted the Hong Kong Hospital Authority to develop clinical performance measures.
He has just retired from membership of the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), but continues as a Clinical Advisor to the ACHS and as a member of the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (SCT).
A number of his activities, such as the clinical indicator development for hospital accreditation, a follow-up protocol after bowel cancer surgery, and the categorisation of urgency for elective surgery waiting list patients, were world-first achievements.
Table of Contents
1. Re-election 13
2. Settling back into the hospital 27
3. 1875 Melbourne: more and less marvellous 36
4. Indulgences: pleasure, politics and a little medicine 50
5. Two problem cases and the consequences 63
6. The inquest 92
7. The inquest continues 132
8. Webb weaving 162
9. The plot won’t succeed 178
10. The verdict and public reaction 217