Review SMC Ruling on psychiatrist Dr Soo SQ acting in good faith
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We disagree with the Disciplinary Tribunal’s claim that Dr Soo showed “a lack of concern for or appreciation for the required standards and indifference to the patient’s medical confidentiality”. On the contrary, Dr Soo was the Good Samaritan who acted in his professional capacity to help someone access mental healthcare promptly. Most of us in his position, would have done the same in the same manner because we are doctors aiming to heal, not investigators aiming to verify truth.
He was an unfortunate victim of a fierce family dispute whereas the real wrongdoer here seems to have escaped without any penalty. Did the Disciplinary Tribunal consider that the one who caused the complainant harm was not Dr Soo but the complainant’s own brother?
This ruling has the caused mental health professionals to lose confidence in their ability to invoke the Mental Health (Care & Treatment) Act. In the end, the real losers are the ones who need this Act in order to access treatment.
The SMC needs to consider the impact this ruling has on medical practice in the immediate future. The majority of caregivers who genuinely want to be involved in the best interests of the patient will be shut out from receiving information in the name of protecting confidentiality. It is the rare few who make criminal use of loopholes in the system. Let not the majority of people who act in good faith suffer at the hands of the malevolent minority.
The SMC needs to protect medical practice done in good faith, instead of penalizing it, as an unfortunate consequence of misdirected vengeance from the complainant in question.
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