Intended for healthcare professionals


To opt in or opt out of electronic patient records?: Electronic patient record is incompatible with confidentiality

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 13 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:146
  1. Michael Foley, consultant anaesthetist (
  1. James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough TS4 3BW

    EDITOR—From the website of the General Medical Council on the duties of registered doctors:

    Doctors hold information about patients which is private and sensitive. This information must not be given to others unless the patient consents or you can justify the disclosure.

    Patients have a right to expect that information about them will be held in confidence by their doctors. Confidentiality is central to trust between doctors and patients. Without assurances about confidentiality, patients may be reluctant to give doctors the information they need in order to provide good care. …

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