Should a doctor disclose evidence of abuse without the patient’s consent?


This case study supports the information on Adult safeguarding in the Ethical Hub. It aims to help explain how certain principles in our guidance should be applied to patients and in practice.

  • Each case study begins with the patient’s notes to set the scene and the characters
  • The grey boxes tell the story
  • The blue boxes summarise the doctor’s considerations and/or actions
  • At the end of each case study we highlight the paragraphs in our guidance for your reference.


On a home visit to review her stroke medication, Dr Rix notices bruising on Mary’s arms. On further examination, he notices the bruises are in a specific pattern – three long bruises next to each other around the forearm. 

Read the complete case study.