38. Obligation to ensure patient confidentiality.

38.     Obligation to ensure patient confidentiality.

The General Medical Council1 has issued guidance relating to issues concerning confidentiality2. Similar guidance has been issued by the regulatory bodies of other medical professions3.

Such guidance generally places the medical professional under an obligation to ensure that information relating to patients is treated as confidential, even after the patient's death4, and not disclosed without the patient's consent5. Legislation concerning data protection and access to medical reports and records contains provisions designed to safeguard confidentiality6 and guidance by the regulatory bodies tends