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Doctors angered by plan to turn them into 'snoopers'

Defence bodies are outraged by leaked Home Office proposals that would require GPs to inform police about patients they thought were capable of committing a violent crime.

The Home Office has admitted it has set up a working group on multi-agency information sharing to prevent serious violence in society.

'This ridiculous proposal would effectively make doctors into policemen,' said Dr Stephanie Bown, director of education and communication at the Medical Protection Society.

Dr Hugh Stewart, medicolegal adviser at the Medical Defence Union, said: 'A GP's first responsibility is to their patients. Our emphasis would be on the importance of the doctor's duty of confidentiality.'

Under the plans, circulated by a senior Whitehall official, council workers, charity staff and doctors would have to hand over detailed personal information where individuals displayed danger signs such as a violent family history or alcoholism.

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