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20.15.3 Other circumstances (i.e. where refusal is not 'unreasonable')


Later case law including Filla v Comcare (2001) and others, established that a refusal of recommended medical treatment even with full 'knowledge of cogent factors' favouring that treatment, is not unreasonable in every circumstance. The court has identified the following exceptions where informed refusal of safe treatment may be acceptable:

  • where a client's 'baseless fears' of treatment are the result of a mental condition, i.e. specifically ' a mental condition such as an anxiety state where that was itself related to the injuries and was caused or contributed to by the accident in question...'
  • where the client's current religious beliefs (i.e. Christian Science, Jehovah's Witness) run counter to the particular medical procedure
  • where the client has undergone the same or similar procedure on an earlier occasion, but without the expected favourable result
  • where DVA has failed to inform the client that the costs of the recommended treatment may be reimbursed under S16 of the SRCA.