Investigating doctors' performance can cause problems of consent and confidentiality

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7341.852/a (Published 06 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:852
  1. M E Y Capek, chair,
  2. M O Roland, director (m.roland@fsl.cpcr.man.ac.uk)
  1. Manchester Performance Panel, c/o Manchester Health Authority, Manchester M60 7LP
  2. National Primary Care Research and Development Centre, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL

    EDITOR—After pilot schemes were carried out in the north west of England health authorities in England established panels to address poor performance among general practitioners.1 Through experience several important ethical issues have arisen that need to be addressed by the panels, the National Clinical Assessment Authority, and primary care trusts.

    The need for obtaining patients' consent is a major issue. Gaining such consent may be difficult when poor performance is discovered in the absence of the patient—for example, when medical …

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