German Traffic Court Day: Confidentiality versus compulsory reporting – should doctors report patients who are unfit to drive to the authorities?

Imagine telling your ophthalmologist that your vision is getting worse and that you are afraid of causing accidents.

German Traffic Court Day: Confidentiality versus compulsory reporting – should doctors report patients who are unfit to drive to the authorities?

Imagine telling your ophthalmologist that your vision is getting worse and that you are afraid of causing accidents. He says you can't drive a car anymore. A few weeks later you get a letter from the authorities: driving ban! Has your doctor betrayed your trust?

It is a classic conflict of objectives - medical confidentiality is opposed to a legitimate interest of the general public: the protection of other road users. So far, doctors have not been obliged to involve the authorities in such cases. They only have to report it in exceptional cases, for example if they learn of a planned serious crime.

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