Primum non nocere- First do no harm.
Doctors could save lives by breaking rules on privacy.
This is a point worth making again and again and again and again and as many times as it takes. Few excerpts:
Hamish Elvidge, father of Mathew – “Before my son took his own life, he had only just been discharged as a low-risk patient, despite coming in as a high-risk patient that very same day after a suicide attempt. At no point were his family involved in any part of the process. There is a chance that, had the hospital decided to share information with his family, our son would still be here today.”
“Confidentiality is far too embedded within the medical profession. The default position has to be one where you have to explain why you haven’t involved the family.”
Prof. Appleby said: “Psychiatrists should feel able to use their clinical judgment on where the balance of patient safety and confidentiality lies. Families are devastated when they discover too late that their loved ones had been talking to professionals about suicide.”
Professor Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “In my experience, if doctors make well- justified, well-recorded decisions to share information in the best interest of a patient who is in suicidal crisis, consistent with their professional codes of practice, this will be understood, respected and upheld in courts of law.”
(Source: The Herald_Congress17_suicide story.pdf)