The Responsibility of the Doctor
Havard, John D.J.
BMJ (British Medical Journal). 1989 Aug 19; 299(6697): 503-508.
Havard's theme is that there are situations in which the medical profession's concept of its responsibility to patients and to society may come into conflict with the law. Havard illustrates this theme with examples of consent issues, torture, and confidentiality. Among the consent issues he discusses are legal standards for disclosure, consent by and for minors and the mentally handicapped, and police requests for physician cooperation in obtaining forensic samples. Havard's discussion of torture concludes that physicians are individually responsible for taking a firm stand against any involvement that may cause harm to persons in detention. His overview of medical confidentiality is critical of England's Law Reform and Criminal Law Revision Committees, and includes the observation that "it would be difficult to name a democracy in the Western world that pays less respect to confidential medical information than the United Kingdom." (KIE abstract)
Aids; Aids Serodiagnosis; Communication; Confidentiality; Contraception; Criminal Law; Consent; Democracy; Disclosure; Ethics; Harm; Informed Consent; Law; Law Enforcement; Legal Aspects; Medical Ethics; Medical Records; Minors; Notification; Parental Notification; Patients; Physician Patient Relationship; Physicians; Privileged Communication; Records; Risks and Benefits; Standards; Sterilization; Torture; Western World;
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