§ 35. Mr. Derek Page
asked the Minister without Portfolio if he will introduce legislation to ensure that the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship is not infringed by courts.
§ The Minister without Portfolio (Sir Eric Fletcher)
As I said in answer to a Question by the hon. Member for Oxford (Mr. Woodhouse) on 23rd December last, any extension of the rules governing privilege so as to cover the medical profession is a matter which comes within the scope of the Law Reform Committee's current review of the law of evidence. It would be better to await the outcome of that review before considering any change in the law.
§ Mr. Page
Does my hon. Friend realise that many doctors and patients are concerned about the difficulties arising from the possibility of their being questioned in court and the possible deleterious effect of this on the diagnosis and treatment of disease? Will he make sure that this is fully appreciated in the right quarters?
§ Sir Eric Fletcher
I am well aware of the concern felt by members of the medical profession on this subject. They have made representations to the Law Reform Committee, which I am sure will be taken carefully into consideration.