Dr Roland Von Marburg – conditions imposed by NSW Medical Tribunal

15 May 2012

The Health Care Complaints Commission recently prosecuted Dr Roland Von Marburg, an ear nose and throat surgeon, before the Medical Tribunal of NSW. The prosecution related to Dr Von Marburg’s self administration of pethidine. 

The Commission argued that Dr Von Marburg was guilty of professional misconduct in that he had:

  • self administered pethidine between about April 2008 and August 2008
  • failed to keep a drug register recording his receipt, supply and administration of pethidine and morphine
  • destroyed a schedule 8 drug of addiction in contravention of regulations
  • falsely stated to Pharmaceutical Services Branch of NSW Health that he had not self-administered pethidine
  • failed to make a proper records in relation to certain patients and in accordance with regulations
  • administered pethidine to patients without exercising responsible medical judgement as to whether this was appropriate in the circumstances and in a quantity that did not accord with the recognised therapeutic standard and retained left over amounts of pethidine for his own use.

Dr Von Marburg admitted to the particulars of the Commission's complaint.

In its decision of 8 May 2012, the Tribunal found Dr Von Marburg guilty of professional misconduct and placed conditions on his practice, including that he:

  • must not prescribe, possess, supply, administer, handle or dispense any drug of addiction.
  • is not to prescribe for self-medication
  • continue to attend for treatment with a psychiatrist, counsellor and GP of his choice.

Further Information

The full decisions are available at the Medical Council of NSW. 

For further information, contact the Executive Officer of the Health Care Complaints Commission, on 9219 7444 or send an email to media@hccc.nsw.gov.au.