If your diagnosis is what you feared, and it’s confirmed then that can be very difficult and this is where guidance is needed.  You need information – knowledge is power, and if you feel powerless then you will find that stress and frustration may follow.  If you are not happy with what has been suggested or proposed by the specialist(s) then this is your choice to either refuse or comply with the assessment.  You are not obliged to accept any or all and always remember – it’s your body and your choice.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and your rights under the code include:

  • a right to receive the information you need to make decisions about your health and about any tests, procedures or treatments
  • a right to have information provided in a way that you understand
  • a right to make an informed choice and give your informed consent before you undergo a test, procedure or treatment
  • a right to be treated with respect and dignity, taking into account your cultural needs and values
  • a right to have a support person with you, at most times
  • a right to services being provided with reasonable care and skill
  • a right to complain about a provider, in a way that is appropriate for you.

All these rights also apply if you take part or are asked to take part in teaching or research.  Go to the Health and Disability Commissioner website to find out more. They have information on your rights in many languages.

Are you aware that if you do have a biopsy or surgery then you have the right to decide what will happen to any tissue or (if a biopsy) then the remaining tissue after the testing has been carried out by the pathologist ?  You might want to donate it to a research institute as it may be of use in future research, helping further medical knowledge, and to possibly help other patients and their diagnoses.

Websites for information on your rights are :

Peter Napier Liston was (and still is on some information available) using the post-nominals claiming to be a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, London (FDSRCS) without the permission of the Royal College of Surgeons, London.  Permission to use the post-niminals was withdrawn by the Royal College of Surgeons, London and asked to return his diploma when this misuse was reported to them.  Information and ruling of the Royal College of Surgeons decision on the above via Valentina Vassiliadis, Acting Deputy Registrar, Legal & Special Projects Advisor, DCNZ.

The case of Keith Hindson (the patient), and the withholding of a cancer diagnosis (therefore informed consent was not possible) and mismanagement of a cancerous tongue lesion by an oral maxillofacial surgeon (OMS), Peter Napier Liston, at Wanganui hospital.


HDC code for above case : 14DC00828

Full decision PDF 581kb

Case note DDF 261 kb


Due to Radiation Treatment for Cancer Keith now suffers from:

Radiation Fibrosis (tissue sclerosis together with various clinical symptoms after irradiation)

Dysphagia (swallowing problems)

Psychogenic dysphagia is known as Phagophobia (chewing problems)

Xerostomia (lack of saliva)

Peter Napier Liston practices at:

Wicksteed Dental Centre, Wanganui

Wanganui hospital, Wanganui

Taranaki Base hospital, New Plymouth

Southern Cross hospital, New Plymouth

Lumino Dentist, New Plymouth

The point of the above information is a lesson in what should not happen and is primarily a warning to others who may be patients of this doctor, nothing more.  It demonstrates that the importance of the issue of informed consent is a very important one, or lack of it in this case - and is the point of the above information.  A simple surgery that should have been performed turns into multiple surgeries and radiation treatment.  One mistake or omission snowballs along, it’s the domino effect.

G M Rigg