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Disciplinary and Regulatory Proceedings is the leading work on this important and dynamic area of law. For 20 years it has provided authoritative guidance to lawyers, tribunals, and other experts dealing with professional discipline and regulation.

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 [2009] EWHC 1907 (Admin).

 

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