Confidentiality & Consent Confidentiality and Consent

Confidentiality is an accepted and fundamental basis of the doctor-patient relationship as patients have a right to expect that their personal information will be held in confidence by their doctor. The importance of confidentiality in the doctor-patient relationship dates back to antiquity.

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 Coronial Reports Coronial Reports and Death Certification

From time to time, JMOs will need to consider whether they are required to refer the death of a patient to the Coroner or whether a death certificate can be completed.

The aim of this booklet is:
  • to outline the circumstances in which a patient’s death should be reported to the Coroner
  • to provide guidance on the preparation of:
  • a report to the Coroner
  • a death certificate.
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Dealing with Complaints 

Patient complaints reflect a patient’s subjective impression of the care they have received. Complaints can occur in the absence of any error or adverse treatment outcome. Complaints are often associated with poor communication between a doctor and a patient or the
patient’s expectations not being met.

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Writing medico-legal reports Writing Medico-legal Reports and Giving Evidence in Court

The focus of this booklet is on ‘treating doctor’ reports, not independent expert reports.The majority of the reports you will be asked to prepare are treating doctor reports; that is, factual reports outlining your involvement in the management of a patient. However, you may also be asked to provide your medical opinion e.g. the prognosis of a soft tissue injury. In writing a medico-legal report it is essential that you clearly differentiate between the facts and your opinions.

The aim of this booklet is to provide guidance on:
  • writing a medico-legal report, and
  • giving evidence in Court.
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  Responding to Complaints in Your Medical Practice

Complaints play a part in most professionals’ lives, albeit not a welcome part. It has been estimated that about one in twenty doctors receive a formal
written complaint each year, and countless others will know of a grievance or other expression of dissatisfaction within their practices.

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