Intended for healthcare professionals


Judge rules that government must disclose figures on late abortions

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 21 April 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d2643
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

The UK government has lost a High Court battle to keep secret “sensitive” statistics on late abortions, which it argued could lead to the identification of patients and doctors.

The small numbers who had late abortions for certain conditions meant that individual patients could have their identities revealed with potentially “awful consequences,” the Department of Health argued.

But at the high court in London, Mr Justice Cranston upheld a ruling by the information tribunal in October 2009 that freedom of information rules required the statistics on late abortions to be disclosed. The ruling followed a freedom …

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