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Values v expediency

The Commission for Healthcare Audit and Information may be given powers to access named patients' notes (News, September 15) on the basis of it 'being necessary or expedient'. I always understood negotiation and compromise was possible with any method of investigation but that principles and values are not negotiable.

Patient confidentiality seems to me to be important enough to defend within the GMC guidelines. Most of our patients would not thank us for revealing their medical history on the grounds of expediency.

Dr Rod Manton

Stockport

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