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Running an emergency helpline The media may exploit doctors

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 10 September 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:669
  1. A Walker,
  2. N Bhatti,
  3. M McCarthy
  1. Camden and Islington Health Authority, London NW1 2LJ
  2. Board of Science and Education, BMA, London WC1H 9JP.

    EDITOR, - In their article on how to run an emergency helpline Cameron Stark and colleagues state, “If information can be adequately transmitted by the media a helpline should not be needed.”1 Our experience is that dealing with the media is not that simple.

    We recently conducted a look back exercise after learning that a health care worker at a local hospital was positive for HIV. We had wanted to avoid unhelpful and prejudicial publicity caused by insensitive handling of the subject by the media, and so we avoided contact …

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