To track down people in Britain who may have broken immigration rules, the government is turning to a new and controversial source of information: doctors.
Doctors who work with refugees and asylum-seekers have described the move as a major breach of medical ethics, saying it isn’t up to physicians to enforce immigration rules.
In letters recently made public, politicians sparred with immigration officials over a data-sharing agreement quietly signed in 2016 that gives the government access to personal information collected by the country’s family doctors. Medical details are excluded.
Read more on NY Times.
I have objected many times to putting tin star badges on health care professionals or trying to turn us into government snitches. If doctors/healthcare professionals participate in such programs, people who need medical treatment will not risk seeking it. And one day we will have a pandemic. Or a patient who needs mental health treatment will not seek it and one day we’ll have another mass school shooting.
Let healers focus on healing. It’s one thing to impose a duty to warn or duty to protect, but keep the government out of medical records unless there is a public health emergency. And even then, there needs to be some restrictions.