A family doctor said to newly bereaved parents, “Now that he is dead I can tell you that he had attempted suicide once before.”
Information sharing and Suicide prevention is a clear and concise consensus document that was published in January 2014 by the Department of Health together with the GMC, Royal Colleges of psychiatry, nursing, psychology and social workers. It clearly states:
“We strongly support working closely with families. Obtaining information from and listening to the concerns of families are key factors in determining risk. We recognise however that some people do not wish to share information about themselves or their care. Practitioners should therefore discuss with people how they wish information to be shared, and with whom. Wherever possible, this should include what should happen if there is serious concern over suicide risk.
We want to emphasise to practitioners that, in dealing with a suicidal person, if they are satisfied that the person lacks capacity to make a decision whether to share information about their suicide risk, they should use their professional judgement to determine what is in the person’s best interest. It is important that the practitioner records their decision about sharing information on each occasion they do so and also the justification for this decision.
Even where a person wishes particular information not to be shared, this does not prevent practitioners from listening to the views of family members, or prevent them from providing general information such as how to access services in a crisis.”
This must be the best kept secret.
Let it be known to all that there is no confidentiality when it comes to suicide.