The General Medical Council already has a very effective 'Sick Doctor' scheme, which both protects the patient from unsafe practice and allows the doctor the benefits of confidential treatment, and it is sufficient in these cases. For no other group would compulsory notification of such illness to an employer be tolerated: to demand it here is only to acquiesce to the ignorance and fear which you earlier condemn.
Current guidelines may already be failing to encourage the reporting of possible accidental infection of healthcare workers by patients and vice versa; they serve to protect the employer from criticism more than the patient from infection, and protect the staff not at all.
So long as HIV infection is seen as an opportunity for a witch hunt by the tabloid press, and in the absence of compassion and education, this disease will increase its spread by the usual route.
Denying a few unlucky doctors the rights they defend for everyone else will not hinder the virus at all.
G. T. FRESHWATER
Lerwick, ShetlandReuse content