I’ve been wondering if there is a law or regulation that requires medical professionals (especially doctors in private practice) to disclose to patients if they have a pending lawsuit or past convictions?
Auntie’s answer: There is a code of conduct for which medical professionals are supposed to adhere and four relevant councils in Cayman that set standards of practice for their respective disciplines – Medical and Dental Council (MDC), Nursing and Midwifery Council, Pharmacy Council and the Council for Professions Allied with Medicine.
The MDC publishes its own “Code of Ethics & Standards of Professional Practice”. I sought advice from the Department of Health Regulatory Services on how this applies to your question.
I found specific parts in the code, such as Sections 34 and 35, which refer to the duty of a practitioner to inform the appropriate body of a colleague’s possible misconduct and the MDC’s determination of the seriousness of the alleged breach.
However, there is nothing in the document that refers exactly to whether a doctor needs to tell a patient of any lawsuits or convictions. To this point, the Health Regulatory Services official explained that the code cannot cover every scenario but professionals are expected “to operate at a high ethical standard”.
From what I understand, despite the example you offer not being found in the code, a medical professional would be ethically bound to disclose information on lawsuits and convictions.
Having said that, I recommend you contact the MDC directly in the hopes of getting a more definitive answer. Here is a link to a list of council members, whose terms run through 15 September 2017.
The document mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library