Opposition MPs object to data sharing clause in coroners bill

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 02 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b412
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

    The UK government faces vociferous opposition to a measure tucked away in the Coroners and Justice Bill that would open the way for ministers to allow patients’ medical records to be used by researchers without the patients’ consent.

    The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats strongly criticised clause 152 in the second reading debate on 26 January and pledged to try to have it thrown out. The Liberal Democrats’ justice spokesman, David Howarth, a Cambridge University law academic, described the provision as “outrageous” and said that its inclusion justified rejecting the bill as a whole.

    The far reaching clause would amend the Data Protection Act and allow ministers to make information sharing orders that provide for personal data to be shared across government departments and outside government—as long as the move is in support of a government policy objective, …

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