Dr Don Sheldon will long be remembered by those who knew him for his outstanding contribution to independent medicine. His dedication to clinical excellence saw his reputation as an Upper GI (Gastroenterological) Surgeon of the highest order propel him into leadership positions firstly in the Australian Association of Surgeons and then as Chairman of the Council of Procedural Specialists for many years.
Although it is not widely known, Don Sheldon played a leading role in the medical indemnity crisis and was chosen by Prime Minister John Howard to represent the profession on the now highly regarded Ipp Review Of The Law Of Negligence, whose work transformed the laws of negligence in Australia and provided the framework for the financial restoration of the Australian medical indemnity insurance model.
Along with his colleagues led by Dr Bruce Shepherd, Don Sheldon took action in the 1984 Doctors’ Dispute to prevent the nationalisation of Australian medicine. These experiences grounded his belief that the price of freedom was eternal vigilance. His contribution is recognised with the presentation of a Bruce Shepherd Medal for distinguished service to independent medicine.