Parent refuses consent – part three
Fara was infected with HIV over ten years ago but received HIV treatment only sporadically during this period. Since arriving in the UK, she has started regular treatment.
Fara has been seeing Dr Jegede, a HIV specialist, at her local hospital. She has confided in him that she is very uncomfortable about letting people know she has HIV. She has trouble accepting her diagnoses.
Fara has a daughter called Amina. Amina was conceived after Fara contracted HIV. Fara has refused consent for Amina to be tested for HIV.
Twelve months after her first appointment with Dr Jegede, Fara returns to the hospital for a routine consultation.
After checking her progress, he again raises the issue of testing Amina. Fara remains adamant that Amina should not be tested. She tells Dr Jegede that she is not going to change her mind.
Dr Jegede thinks it unlikely that Fara’s attitude will change. He comes to the view that he will not be able to arrange for Amina to be tested without involving a multidisciplinary team.
However, this would require sharing information with professionals outside of his care team.
What the doctor did
Dr Jegede seeks Fara's consent to share information about her and Amina with members of an HIV multidisciplinary team.
He explains that the multidisciplinary team will be able to monitor the child protection issues raised by the situation and will consider how best to ensure Amina's safety.
Doctors should ask for consent from patients to share confidential information about them, unless there is a compelling reason for not doing so (paragraph 34 of Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors.
What the doctor had to consider
- Doctors should ask for consent from patients to share confidential information about them, unless there is a compelling reason for not doing so (paragraph 34 of Protecting children and young people: the responsibilities of all doctors).