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Doctors in Netherlands worry court ruling erodes patient confidentiality

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39129.667824.DB (Published 22 February 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:389
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. Utrecht

    A legal ruling in the Netherlands has raised concerns that the principle of medical confidentiality is being eroded to help police investigate doctors' mistakes.

    A court in Rotterdam has ruled that public prosecutors can read a patient's medical notes as part of their investigation into whether certain doctors were guilty of culpable homicide.

    The public prosecution service argued that there were reasonable grounds for suspicion. The Erasmus Medical Center denied this, adding that the wider interests of society were at stake. It therefore brought the case to protect the principle of confidentiality. The centre is considering whether to appeal against the decision.

    The case involved a …

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