Intended for healthcare professionals


Crime victims are given right to object to disclosure of their medical records to courts

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 13 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:115
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    A Crown Court judge acted unlawfully in ordering an NHS trust to hand over the psychiatric records of a 14 year old girl—without giving her a chance to object—to the man who was accused of sexually abusing her. This was a ruling by two senior judges at the High Court in London last week.

    The ruling has widespread implications throughout the criminal justice system, particularly in rape cases. Judges often order doctors to disclose a crime victim's psychiatric records to the defendant's lawyers, who want to use them to undermine the plaintiff's credibility as a …

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