Doctors should report knife wounds even if it breaches patient confidentiality, say police

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 05 June 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1270
  1. Richard Hurley
  1. 1BMJ

Staff at UK hospitals should tell police when patients present with serious knife wounds even if this is against the patient’s wishes, says a senior police officer.

Alfred Hitchcock, the acting assistant commissioner for London’s Metropolitan Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers’ national lead officer for knife related crime, made the request on the Channel 4 News programme. His call came after a fresh spate of violence in England among teenagers and young adults over the late May bank holiday weekend, which included several knife attacks and the fatal stabbing of an 18 year old man.

“If there are knife wounds that are clearly inflicted as a result of a serious incident …

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