Concussion, Defamation and the Ringside Doctor.J Law Med. 2019 Oct; 27(1):55-65.JL
Ringside doctors play a vital public health role in protecting fighters from the deleterious effects of concussive and other injuries which are reasonably foreseeable from the contests in which they engage. This column reviews a landmark action for defamation taken by a ringside doctor against a media organisation that published a critique of his performance of his role in a high-profile boxing bout in Sydney, Australia. It reviews the judgment of McCallum J in O'Neill v Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd (No 2)  NSWSC 655 (O'Neill) and reflects on the broader significance of the decision for the role played by ringside doctors while boxing and other martial arts contests continue to be permitted by law.