Intended for healthcare professionals


GMC's advice in Serious Communicable Diseases

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 24 June 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1727

Is consent to testing necessary for tuberculosis in same way as for HIV infection?

  1. G J Gibson, past chairman of the executive, British Thoracic Society,
  2. A Seaton, past president
  1. Cardiothoracic Centre, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN
  2. British Thoracic Society, London EC1N 8LD
  3. General Medical Council, London WIN 6JE

    EDITOR—The General Medical Council recently sent all medical practitioners in the United Kingdom its booklet Serious Communicable Diseases,1 which replaces the earlier HIV Infection and AIDS.2 In this the council broadens its earlier advice on consent to testing to include investigation of tuberculosis and hepatitis as well as HIV infection. We completely agree that tuberculosis should be regarded as a serious communicable disease, but treating it in the same way as HIV infection in the context of obtaining consent to investigation and treatment potentially presents major problems, which we wish to draw to the attention of readers of the BMJ.

    Clearly, when the suspicion of tuberculosis is high it …

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