Medical confidentiality and the public interest
‘Medical confidentiality is not an absolute right, but necessarily involves a balancing of competing public interests. The public interest in patient safety and welfare is an extremely important consideration. A further highly relevant consideration is the persons to whom the disclosure has taken place or is envisaged; disclosure to a person who is aware of the confidentiality and who has a role in its consideration or evaluation (such as a health care worker) is to be distinguished from general disclosure or publication. The relevant law on confidentiality in the context of health care regulation is summarised in Glynn and Gomez: Fitness to Practise: Health Care Regulatory Law, Principle and Process at §§13-022 to 13-025, concluding: "Disclosure to a local authority, or another doctor, may be a proportionate response that is justified in the overall public interest, whereas a wider disclosure would not be. In most cases, the balancing exercise will come down in favour of disclosure to a health care regulator, even where the records concerns a child"’
Per Stephen Morris QC in Saha v The General Medical Council  EWHC 1907 (Admin).
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