Minister reported for breaching privacy of patient

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 18 February 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:421

New Zealand's minister of health, Mrs Jenny Shipley, has been reported to the privacy commissioner for breaching the Privacy Act by disclosing a patient's confidential medical details. A 77 year old man, James McKeown, had claimed in the media that he had been denied renal dialysis at Auckland's Middlemore Hospital because of lack of resources and his age.

Mrs Shipley said on television that Mr McKeown had “serious coronary artery disease and prostate cancer as well as kidney difficulties.” She said that her action was justified because Mr McKeown had …

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