By Dr Brendon Gray, Head of Medical Services (New Zealand)
MPS welcomes the Supreme Court ruling that pregnancy resulting from medical misadventure, in the form of a negligently performed female sterilisation operation, is a personal injury for which ACC cover lies.
An earlier Court of Appeal ruling had held that ACC cover could not apply in such circumstances, meaning that women had to resort to civil claims in the court system to seek compensation.
The Supreme Court ruling ensures that those who fall pregnant after female sterilisation are covered in the same way as patients who suffer other types of medical misadventure.
MPS is pleased that the apparent anomaly of failed female sterilisations has now been resolved. To have left a gap in ACC cover in this one area would have been unsatisfactory for patients and their doctors. It would have also undermined New Zealand’s no-fault principle to compensation for personal injury.