RE: Specimen containers and "confidentiality"

About the subject of container disposal, John Kiernan wrote:

"What is the "confidential" information that might accompany a
vial with a name and number on it?  What offence is caused to
the patient if someone at the landfill site finds a labelled
plastic container? People's names are in the phone book."

and continued...

"If a label said "22638514 Clinton, Bill: Tests for syphilis, 
HIV and monicagerms" there might be a case for confidentiality,<snipped>"

Amen to that. It seems to me that the whole basis of patient confidentiality is that nobody should be made the subject of ridicule, derision or gossip by having medical facts about that person disseminated. However, this basis seems to have been lost, and hiding even the existence of a patient now seems to be a concern for its own sake. It's ludicrous.

BTW John, nice to see you contributing to the 'politics' and humour element of discussion.

Terry L Marshall
Rotherham General Hospital, Yorkshire

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