Charles Foster discusses the patient's right to be heard

All agree that confidentiality in medical records is crucial. If disclosure of medical records is sought for the purposes of criminal litigation, should the patient not have a right to be heard? Intuitively the answer seems obvious: of course the patient should. And indeed that was the gist of the decision of the Divisional Court in R (TB) v Stafford Combined Court and (1) CPS and (2) South Staffordshire Healthcare NHS Trust [2006] EWHC 1645 (Admin). But that conclusion sits uneasily with Part 28 of the Criminal Procedure Rules. The judgment of the Administrative Court is an urgent call for revision of that Part, an important restatement of some central principles of medical confidentiality and a timely reminder that Art 8 of the ECHR ha...

Jean Yves

IICJ

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