Patient Confidentiality : Next-of-kin« Back to Questions List

Psychiatrist from the NUH who unwittingly passed on sensitive information to a family member was fined $50K by the GMC. The penalty seems harsh when it appears that the caller who was not the authorised recipient of such sensitive information, did so by deceit. He impersonated someone else. Here, the case hinges on the long held sacred cow - recently slayed - of paternalism in medical practice. Medical practitioners were given the highest of respect while their decisions, clinical or otherwise, rarely challenged. This is now not the case . Patients are now educated. They have access to information & are more prepared to address issues as they arise. Thus, the move away from Paternalism towards Patient Autonomy , while it is necessary in keeping up with the times, the adoption of this principle is also imperative as the practice of medicine is no longer a 'one man show' but where management requires a whole range of disciplines. Thus, where the idea of sharing medical notes on ones patient with another practitioner is somewhat alien, the practice is now required as the interface & interrelations between one set of disability or disease is seen in holistically, not in isolation. Patient Autonomy is challenging in a system where private medicine is still priced and protected. Much work need to be done to slay the concept of paternalism if patient autonomy is not going to be in the headlines again and again.
Posted by Admin
Asked on 05/22/2019 4:14 pm
0

The Singapore Medical Council will apply to the Court of Three Judges for a doctor’s conviction to be set aside after he was found to have breached a patient’s medical confidentiality.
[21st May 2019]
Will continue once the Apex court has given its written judgment.

Posted by June Cheah
Answered On 05/22/2019 4:43 pm
0

Psychiatrist from the NUH who unwittingly passed on sensitive information to a family member was fined $50K by the GMC. The penalty seems harsh when it appears that the caller who was not the authorised recipient of such sensitive information, did so by deceit. He impersonated someone else. Here, the case hinges on the long held sacred cow – recently slayed – of paternalism in medical practice. Medical practitioners were given the highest of respect while their decisions, clinical or otherwise, rarely challenged. This is now not the case . Patients are now educated. They have access to information & are more prepared to address issues as they arise. Thus, the move away from Paternalism towards Patient Autonomy , while it is necessary in keeping up with the times, the adoption of this principle is also imperative as the practice of medicine is no longer ’compartmentalised’ but where management requires a whole range of disciplines. Thus, where the idea of sharing medical notes on ones patient with another practitioner is required as the interface & interrelations between one set of disability or disease needs to be addressed holistically, not in isolation. Patient Autonomy is challenging in a system where private medicine is still highly protected.

Posted by June Cheah
Answered On 05/22/2019 4:21 pm