Performance data and informed consent: a duty to disclose?

Rebekah E McWhirter
Med J Aust 2017; 207 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja16.01195
Published online: 7 August 2017

Evidence mounts for a legal duty to disclose performance data as part of informed consent

Hospitals, colleges and other institutions increasingly collect, analyse and disseminate data relating to the performance of individual health practitioners, particularly those undertaking surgical procedures. Arguments have long been made for an ethical duty to disclose information regarding a practitioner’s experience or skill to patients as part of the process of informed consent (Box 1).1 Significantly, recent developments suggest that practitioners may, in some circumstances, have a legal duty to disclose their performance data to patients (Box 2).

  • Rebekah E McWhirter

  • Menzies Institute for Medical Research and Centre for Law and Genetics, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS


I am grateful to Bill Madden for his comments on earlier drafts of this article.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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