Public Statement and Statement of Decision in relation to Ms Marilyn Bodnar
23 July 2018
The NSW Health Care Complaints Commission conducted an investigation into the conduct of unregistered health practitioner Ms Marilyn Pauline Bodnar, naturopath, as a result of charges and her subsequent conviction at the Sydney District Court on 5 April 2018 for:
• Fail to provide for child cause danger of death; Aid, abet, counsel or procure, an offence under section 43A(2) of the Crimes Act 1900
Between 12:01am on 22 February 2015 and 11:59 on 28 May 2015 at Leppington, did give treatment advice to the [Person A] who has parental responsibility for the victim and without reasonable excuse, recklessly failed to provide [the victim] with the necessities of life which caused a danger of death and serious injury to [the victim].
The Commission’s investigation established that between 22 February and April 2015, Ms Bodnar asserted to [Person A] that she could cure her infant son’s eczema and provided treatment advice which caused significant harm to [the victim], who was subsequently taken to Westmead Children’s Hospital Emergency Department on 28 May 2015, and was noted to have presented ‘in extremis’: emaciated, pale, with severe failure to thrive, dehydration, severe hyponatremia as well as infected eczema. The attending doctors concluded that had he not presented at that time, the medical evidence indicated he would have died within days. [The victim] was assessed and presented with significant global developmental delay.
The significant regression was found to correlate directly with the treatment advice provided by Ms Bodnar. The evidence indicates that Ms Bodnar’s conduct was planned, deliberate and carried out with disregard for [the victim’s] health and well-being. [The victim] will need to be assessed by medical experts over the next few years in order to ascertain whether or not he will suffer any long term developmental delays as a result of Ms. Bodnar’s conduct.
The investigation found that Ms Bodnar breached, clauses 3(1),3(2)(d-f), 11 and 12(3) of the Code of Conduct for Unregistered Health Practitioners under Schedule 3 of the Public Health Regulation 2012 in the following respects:
• Provided a health service in an unsafe and unethical manner in that she provided treatment advice with no clinical basis and which caused significant harm to the health of [the victim], causing the near death of [the victim] and significant developmental delays.
• She failed to recognise the limitations of her proposed treatment and failed to refer [the victim] to other competent health practitioners.
• She failed to recommend that additional opinions and services be sought.
• She failed to assist [Person A] to find other appropriate health care professionals for [the victim] when it was required.
• She diagnosed and treated an illness or condition without an adequate clinical basis.
• She made claims about the efficacy of the recommended treatment when those claims could not be substantiated.
The Commission is satisfied that Ms Bodnar poses a risk to the health or safety of members of the public.
The Commission therefore makes the following prohibition order:
• Ms Bodnar is permanently prohibited from providing any health service in any capacity, either paid or voluntary. For the purpose of this order, ‘health service’ is given the meaning as defined under section 4 of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993.
Access the Commission’s Statement of Decision here
For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information is correct at the time of publication.