Supplement 921

1922 BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)  
year. It lias also attracted mnucli attention outside that body, and has led to a good deal of correspondence, botli in the columns of tlle BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL and elsewhlere. During the discussion -Oin the subject a desire was expressed that information on the law and practice in this respect in othier countries -should be made available. Accordingly, in the JOURNAL for this week, Dr.' W. A. Brend, wlho is a barrister as well as a member of the muedical profession, has given some
more » ... s with regard to the United States and France, aud discussed some of the imptications arising. The whole matter of professional secrecy is now under tlhe consideration of the Central Etllical Committee of the Association, wliich will doubtless report slhortly to the Council; the latter will then make a report -to tlle Divisions in order that the matter may be considered by the Representative Meeting. Last July tle Representative Body instructed the Council to submnit the resoluti'on adopted at Newcastle, quoted by Dr. Brend, to tlhe annual meeting of 1922, witlh a view to the advisability of this resolution becoming the policy of the Association. The resolution of the Representative Body in 1920, whlich had special reference to venereal disease, reiterated the opinion-that a medical practitioner shlould not, witlhout his patient's consent, voluntarily disclose information lie hlas obtained from such patient in the exercise of his professional duties. The resolution of last year, which arose out of a discussion of the position witl regard to venereal diseases, was in more general terms, and was to the effect that the Association should use all its powers to support a member of the British Mledical Association wlho refuses to divulge, witliout the patient's consent, information obtained in tlle exercise of his professional duties, except where it is already provided by Act of Parliament that he must do so. Expenditure and Income Statistics. A difficulty wllicll central negotiating bodies often experience in dealing with Government departments upon various questions is lack of statistics, whereas the other side is often fully supplied. This difficulty has been experienced more than once by the Insurance Acts Committee as regards remuneration of insurance practitioners. Upon suchl occasions--as, for instance, during the 1920 arbitration-when the Coni%'ittee lhas appealed to practitioners for information as to their in-come and expenditure a considerable mass of mlaterial lhas eventually been forthcomiiug, but in the meantime valu able time has been lost, first in its collection and tlenl in i ;s classification, because practitioners adopt such varied methods of keeping their accounts. With a view to getting over this last difficulty the Association designed and published twelve months ago a Model Account Book, copies of which were supplied gratuitously to practitioners who undertook to forward the information entered therein for tWe confidential use of thle Insurance Acts Committee; to otlhers the book is sold for Is. post free-that is practically at cost price. Full details of the book were given in the SUPPLEMENT of Januarv 22nd, 1921, p. 22. Practitioners who have been using the book during the past twelve montlhs lave expressed the opinion that it is of great value and very simple in use. Application will shortly be made to practitioners using the book to forward the information for tabulation and filing, for whichi work special arrangements have been nmade to ensure strict privacy. In no circumstances will the names of practitioners thus supplying information go beyond the knowledge of tlle clerk dealing withi the work; they will not even be communicated to tlle members of the Committee, and if the information sliotild atterwards be used in negotiations numibers and not names will be used. In view of the certainty of tllis information being needed at tlle termination of the present two years' bargain as to insurance practitioners' remuneration, it is hoped that more practitioners will take advantage of this offer in respect of
doi:10.1136/bmj.1.3185.s9 fatcat:osbxsg6tcfb6zhq46gnfuh65ii