Patient consent for information sharing not always possible or appropriate

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 11 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a777
  1. Michael Cross
  1. 1London

    The test of informed consent for sharing personal medical data has come under attack in a long awaited review of data sharing commissioned by the UK prime minister. The test is a linchpin of the BMA’s policy on computerised health records.

    The review, by Richard Thomas, the information commissioner and Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, says that although people should be asked for consent “wherever possible” before personal data is shared, it is not always possible or appropriate. It would “be wrong to focus too heavily on consent as a …

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