Docs can't address concerns if patients don't reveal them

Mr Terence Seah (Doctors are not expected to mind-read; June 6) misconstrued my letter (Engage patients? Yes, but don't expect doctors to mind-read; May 27) when he stated that I insinuated that the Court of Appeal has placed an unachievable imposition on doctors without paying any heed to the functionality of practising medicine.

No doctor can possibly know the internal monologue some patients have with themselves.

Any trained and experienced doctor would reveal risks that he believes should be told, regardless of whether the patient places any distinct extreme importance on the information.

Hence, a doctor who takes actions that are supported by other doctors, and also reveals all material information will have met the expectations of both the Bolam and Montgomery tests for medical negligence.

He should not be held responsible if the patient does not divulge his concerns at the clinic.

Edmund Khoo Kim Hock

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2017, with the headline 'Docs can't address concerns if patients don't reveal them'. Subscribe