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|Title: ||Consent to the publication of patient information: Incompetent patients may pose a problem (letter)|
|Authors: ||Newson, A.J.|
|Issue Date: ||2004|
|Citation: ||Newson, AJ. (2004) “Consent to the publication of patient information: Incompetent patients may pose a problem (letter).” BMJ,2004;329:916|
|Abstract: ||The BMJ ethics committee’s
revised policy on consent to the publication
of patient information is laudable,
important matter remains overlooked: publishing cases involving incompetent patients.
Much can be learnt from these cases; be it
highlighting clinical difficulties or drawing
attention to neglected moral issues. But the
guidelines as written may make it impossible
to publish them.
Imagine I wished to publish a case involving a traceable adult with learning disability who had requested
genetic counselling. Turning
to the guidelines, I would be
required to obtain her consent before publication.
However, obtaining written
informed consent from
adults with questionable
competence could be difficult or exploitative, as they
may lack the capacity to
understand the implications
of consent to publication. Furthermore, the
exceptions listed under point 3 do not apply.
Merely anonymising her information would
be ethically problematic, as could drafting a
fictional case “inspired” by the clinical
encounter. Until the mental capacity bill
becomes law, no one can provide consent on
her behalf. How should we balance the value
gained from publishing these cases with
respecting the interests of the people
|Description: ||letter to the editor|
|Rights and Permissions: ||CC BY-NC 3.0|
|Type of Work: ||Article, Letter|
|Type of Publication: ||Publisher version|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Papers and Publications. Sydney Health Ethics|
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