10 July 2014

In 2010, the Health Care Complaints Commission prosecuted a complaint against Dr Yolande Lucire, a psychiatrist, before the Medical Tribunal. The prosecution related to Dr Lucire’s treatment of a patient who later killed her father and sister and injured her mother.

In its decision of 27 August 2010, the Medical Tribunal found unsatisfactory professional conduct in that Dr Lucire:

  • failed to ensure that the patient, who had active psychosis, received anti-psychotic medication
  • failed to consider hospitalisation or involving a community mental health service, or engaging the patient’s general practitioner in the further management of the patient
  • inappropriately advised the patient’s parents to cease anti-psychotic medication for a period of two days
  • did not take action to hospitalise the patient in circumstances where it appeared to be required.

The Tribunal imposed conditions on Dr Lucire’s registration. Dr Lucire appealed the Tribunal’s decision to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal, on 20 April 2011, set aside the orders of the Medical Tribunal as it found that Dr Lucire had not been given a reasonable opportunity to call evidence and address the Tribunal with respect to the protective orders proposed by the Commission.  The Court of Appeal also found that the practical operation of the conditions imposed by the Tribunal was equivalent to suspension or deregistration of the practitioner. 

On 6 July 2011, the Court of Appeal handed down its reasons and protective orders.  It ordered that conditions be imposed on Dr Lucire’s registration, which provide that she may practise psychiatry involving the treatment of psychotic or possibly psychotic patients only as part of a group practice where one of the other psychiatrists undertakes to provide supervision.

The Court ordered that the conditions on Dr Lucire’s registration are to apply until she notifies the Medical Council in writing that she intends to cease practising as a psychiatrist, or until the expiration of three years from the date of the Court’s orders (6 July 2014), whichever date is earlier.

Further Information

The full decision of the Medical Tribunal is available at the website of the Medical Council of NSW.

The full decisions of the Court of Appeal are available at Austlii here and here

The current status of Dr Lucire’s registration can be viewed on the website of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

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.

The information in this media release is correct at the time of publication. Orders may change; for example, conditions may no longer apply. For current information regarding the status of a registered health practitioner, including any conditions that currently apply, please check the National Register at www.ahpra.gov.au.