3.3.2 Patient–health professional relationship
It is expected that the health professional will be able to act objectively in assessing a patient’s fitness to drive. If this cannot be achieved (for example, where there may be the possibility of the patient ceasing contact or avoiding all medical management of their condition) health professionals should be prepared to disqualify themselves and refer their patient to another practitioner.
A difficult ethical situation arises in the event that the health professional has reason to doubt the veracity of the information provided by a patient regarding their health, and their capacity to drive safely. It is suggested the following strategies may be considered:
- contact one’s professional indemnity insurer, discuss the problem and document the advice
- refer the person for specialist opinion
- contact the relevant driver licensing authority and, without identifying the patient, discuss the problem and document the advice.
With these additional inputs it may be possible to carefully discuss and reassess the situation with the patient, taking care to document the proceedings.