Physician is Senior Australian of the year

Source: AAP SENIOR Australian of the Year Professor Ian Maddocks believes his national award can help raise the importance of the role of palliative care for the dying in the medical profession. The internationally recognised palliative care specialist, 82, was honoured on Friday for his work as a specialist and academic and his passionate advocacy for peace at the Australian of the Year awards ceremony in Canberra. Prof Maddocks said more work needed to be done in the area of palliative care. “There are still people in the other professions of medicine who don’t hand over to us, who don’t bring us in earlier enough,” he told reporters. “We can work alongside them, so that people are ready for that change when the other doctors say, ‘well sorry, there is no more treatment for you’. “Yes there is, there is lots more we can do.” Receiving his award, the emeritus professor at Flinders University in South Australia said he was still keen to promote palliative care as a general part of medicine practice. “We shall all die. Some of us will deny the approach of death. Some will experience difficult treatments and then be told there’s nothing to be done,” he said. “Palliative care affirms that there is always something that can be done.” Mental health and ageing minister Mark Butler said Prof Maddocks had made a significant contribution to the development of palliative care practices throughout Australia. An emeritus professor at Flinders University, the octogenarian from the Adelaide beachside suburb of Seacliff still provides care for the terminally ill and continues to supervise postgraduate students. Prof Maddocks has been a key leader in the Medical Association for the Prevention of War and the Nobel Peace Prize winning group, the International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War. The married father of three, and grandfather to five, was appointed Professor of Palliative Care at Flinders University in 1988.

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Essendon players escape sanction? It’s hard to see why

However, the basic principle of the WADA Code is that a player is totally responsible for what he takes. There is only one section of the WADA Code that allows avoidance of suspension altogether Section 10.5.1, No Fault or Negligence. This relates to suspension being waived in specific rare scenarios where an athlete can prove he or she was sabotaged by a competitor. It specifically states that it is not applicable in the following scenario: “The administration of a prohibited substance by the athlete’s personal physician or trainer without disclosure to the athlete (athletes are responsible for their choice of medical personnel and for advising medical personnel that they cannot be given any prohibited substance).” So it is hard to see how zero suspension can be applied in the Essendon case. The WADA code stipulates a standard punishment of two years’ suspension. However, there are several clauses in the WADA Code that relate to reduction of the standard ban. The first is 10.5.2, entitled No Significant Fault or Negligence. It states: “If an athlete or other person establishes in an individual case that he or she bears no significant fault or negligence, then the otherwise applicable period of ineligibility may be reduced, but the reduced period of ineligibility may not be less than one-half of the period of ineligibility otherwise applicable.” It is possible under this clause for players to argue they have no significant fault and have their bans halved. The next relevant clause is 10.5.3, Substantial Assistance in Discovering or Establishing Anti-Doping Rule Violations. This clause states: “An anti-doping organisation … may … suspend a part of the period of ineligibility imposed in an individual case where the athlete or other person has provided substantial assistance to an anti-doping organisation, criminal authority or professional disciplinary body which results in the anti-doping organisation discovering or establishing an anti-doping rule violation by another person or which results in a criminal or disciplinary body discovering or establishing a criminal offence or the breach of professional rules by another person … No more than three-quarters of the otherwise applicable period of ineligibility may be suspended.” If the Essendon players were considered to be eligible for reductions under both clauses 10.5.2 and 10.5.3, then the best-case scenario is a six-month ban. The WADA Code also imposes sanctions on teams with multiple players found guilty. Clause 11.2, Consequences for Team Sports, states: “If more than two members of a team in a team sport are found to have committed an anti-doping rule violation during an event period, the ruling body of the event shall impose an appropriate sanction on the team (eg, loss of points, disqualification from a competition or event, or other sanction) in addition to any consequences imposed upon the individual athletes committing the anti-doping rule violation.” The AFL clearly has the authority to dock premiership points.

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