Education And Debate

Ethical debate: child sexual abuse: when a doctor's duty to report abuse conflicts with a duty of confidentiality to the victim

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 03 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:55

The woman who wanted to see her paediatric hospital records

  1. T J David, professora
  1. a University Department of Child Health, Booth Hall Children's Hospital, Manchester M9 7AA

    A 21 year old woman asked to see her medical records from a children's hospital, and because I had been the paediatrician in charge of her case I was approached by the hospital administration. The case was one of possible non-accidental injury. Because of the risk of misunderstanding what had been written in the notes, not to mention their poor legibility, I met the woman and went through the medical records with her. I also gave her a full photocopied set to keep.

    The woman had been our patient 15 years before. At 6 years of age she had been admitted to hospital for a few days' observation because she …

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