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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Musket BS: A 'rights' issue? (82* d) RE: BS: A 'rights' issue? 17 Mar 16


The bit about Canada Israel and Norway is misleading. The system is similar to EU countries in that where a doctor is of the opinion that for public health and safety a patient either cannot or will not disclose to a regulatory body issues that their continued practice could compromise public safety, the doctor is obliged to seek to take this further.

In none of the countries mentioned are doctors obliged to contact employers. They are obliged to refer to regulatory bodies if the patient either refuses or lacks capacity to do so. The difference the article refers to is culpability after the event with regard to whether the doctor did or not.

If you read other articles, including those in the medical press, this is about the needs of the inquiry vs the fundamental basis of patient confidentiality and people, in a similar way to Akenaton's point, using the tragedy to break that confidence. Sadly, governments wouldn't need much persuading although in the face of refusal by the medical profession, wouldn't get very far.

The doctors in this case are right, judging by everything I have read. The investigation is not competent for assessing clinical judgement so there is nothing to be added by the huge step of releasing records. If a court subsequently feels otherwise, and a court is a competent body, then such things can be disclosed.

This really is a non story. If the situation here for instance was how Akenaton thinks it is, then none of the GP practices that Shipman worked at would have cooperated with the inquiry, but they did. It is each situation on merit.

Who knows? The doctor in this case may have something to hide? If so, their professional registration body will investigate it, as required. But in any case, at this stage the doctor is quite right in not breaking the law in order to comply with a request that doesn't fit the criteria for disclosure. If the doctor was aware of the occupation and advised accordingly, then that is taken as read unless a competent investigation says otherwise.

This is the real world where the needs of one legal framework don't fit with the needs of another. The understandable anguish of those involved is exacerbated by thinking the inquiry needs to know something in order to get to the bottom of it. What none of us know is why the doctor is of the professional opinion that disclosure isn't appropriate. A simple referral to Bundesärztekammer, the German medical registration body.

Far too many factual errors and misleading pints in the article for it to be useful. However, there are others, in English. If anyone is interested, Google and find them. I think that the article recently in BMJ is in the public non log in area of their website and this gives a balanced appraisal, criticising the approach by both sides, inferring that there are ways to have prevented this reaching this point but like many of us, seeing it blunder its way into compromising the confidence between doctors and patients should opportunist politicians use it for a government excuse to know even more about us.

Here in The UK, we are already seeing The Home Secretary play the terror card in order to give police easier access to medical records. The present system of convincing a magistrate for a warrant is adequate and safeguarding, but recent speeches by Theresa May chillingly suggest otherwise.




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