Misstep or malpractice: When does a doctor’s actions constitute professional misconduct? Singapore Medical Council v Dr Lim Lian Arn [2019] SGHC 172

Doctors are expected to uphold high standards when dispensing medical treatment to patients. However, not every misstep by a medical practitioner amounts to professional misconduct. Where a doctor does depart from acceptable standards of conduct, disciplinary action is warranted only where such departure is egregious. As highlighted in Singapore Medical Council v Dr Lim Lian Arn [2019] SGHC 172, the law seeks to strike a balance between (a) ensuring that serious misconduct and failings are duly censured, and (b) guarding against over-penalisation of doctors.