Ethics toolkit for medical studentsThis toolkit gives medical students an introduction to common ethical problems they may encounter and practical ways of thinking to help solve issues.
Confidentiality and health records
Confidentiality and health records toolkitOur toolkit is your starting point when considering sharing confidential information. It covers sharing confidential information for the direct care of your individual patient and sharing for other reasons.
Retention of health recordsHow long should patient medical records be kept retained? Here we set out tables of types of records and the length of time they should be kept.
Access to health recordsHow to handle requests, including subject access requests, requests from third parties such as insurers and the police and requests for records of deceased patients.
Patients recording consultationsOur guidance answers if patients can record doctors without permission or covertly, how to respond when a patient asks to record their appointment and what to do if a covert recording is posted online.
Requests for medical information from insurersWe cover what you need to know when dealing with requests from insurance companies - principles to follow, subject access requests and electronic signatures.
Sharing local electronic patient records for direct patient careThe following principles are to support GP practices considering how to share patient records with other healthcare organisations.
GDPR privacy notices for GP practicesPosters you can use in your GP practice to notify patients about how you handle their data.
GPs as data controllers under GDPRGP data controllers' responsibilities under the GDPR, the main themes of the legislation and ensuring compliance. The guidance should be read alongside the UK Data Protection Act 2018.
Giving patients access to medical reportsSteps for doctors to take when a patient asks to see their medical reports.
Appointing a data protection officer (DPO)We give guidance on how to appoint a data protection officer in a GP practice to comply with GDPR, who they are and what they do.
Doctors' responsibilities with anti-radicalisation strategyExplaining the doctors' role in the Prevent training programme to counter terrorism and how it affects confidentiality and consent.
NHSX data strategy briefingWe summarise the key themes and priorities in the 2021 strategy from NHSX 'Data saves lives: reshaping health and care with data'. The strategy looks at how improved data storing and processes will bring together the NHS and social care.
Adults who lack capacity
Clinically-assisted nutrition and hydrationThis guidance provides detailed practical advice on the issues you might encounter when making a decision to stop, start, or continue CANH for adults who lack capacity.
Needlestick injuries and blood-borne virusesGuidance on what to do in situations where the patient lacks the capacity to consent to testing for blood-borne viruses, when a health professional has sustained needlestick injury.
Mental Capacity Act toolkitThis toolkit acts as a prompt to doctors when they are providing care and treatment for people who lack, or who may lack, the mental capacity to make decisions on their own behalf.
Adults with incapacity in Scotland and Northern IrelandThis guidance looks at the decision-making process in relation to adults and their mental capacity in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Best interests decision-making for adults who lack capacity toolkitThis toolkit provides practical guidance to assist doctors in making decisions in the best interests of adults who lack capacity in England and Wales.
Deprivation of liberty safeguardsThe most important points for health professionals to consider if a deprivation of liberty has taken, or is taking, place and a checklist to assess the situation.
Seeking patient consent toolkitWhen and how to seek consent for treatment and research, ethical and legal principles that apply and common misconceptions surrounding consent.
Consent in paternity testingThis guidance sets out doctors’ legal and ethical responsibilities when asked to assist with paternity testing.
Parental responsibility and consentThe responsibilities parents have in respect of their child's healthcare, including consent to treatment.
Books from the BMA
Ethics books available from the BMAThe BMA has published a number of books on a range of medico-legal and ethical issues which are available for purchase. BMA members can enjoy a 15% discount off the cover price.
Adult safeguarding toolkitThis toolkit is about the doctor's role in safeguarding adults who may be at risk of abuse or neglect.
Domestic abuseRaising awareness of domestic abuse and strategies for doctors to identify and reduce the damage it does.
Adults at risk, confidentiality and disclosure of informationThis guidance sets out the current legal and ethical position on disclosure of information relating to adults who retain capacity but may be subject to some form of duress.
End of life
Physician assisted dyingThe BMA adopted a neutral position on PAD (physician-assisted dying) at the annual meeting in September 2021. Read more about what PAD is, the law across the world, the survey we did and the BMA's position.
Organ donationThe BMA has long advocated a 'soft' opt-out system for organ donation across the UK.
Decisions relating to CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)Joint guidance from the BMA, Resuscitation Council (UK) and Royal College of Nursing (RCN) on decisions about CPR – including decisions not to attempt CPR.
Responding to patient requests for assisted suicideEthical principles for doctors to consider when a patient makes a request to, or makes it known they will, end their life.
Expressing your personal beliefs as a doctorGuidance on conscientious objection and expressing your religious and cultural views when practising as a doctor.
Transparency for doctors with competing interestsRead our guidance for doctors on how to identify and manage any competing interests.
Ethics of social media useSocial media can be a great resource for doctors. But it's not without its risks. This guidance outlines some of the benefits and risks involved in using social media, helping you use it safely and ethically.
Children and young people
Children and young people ethics toolkitLegal and ethical factors doctors need to consider when making decisions about children and young people such as consent, refusal of treatment and confidentiality.
Non-therapeutic male circumcision toolkitDoctors may be asked to refer a child for, or to carry out, non-therapeutic male circumcision (NTMC). This toolkit provides you with practical guidance relevant to NTMC in the UK.
Sexual offences and under 18-year-olds in Northern IrelandFind out how the change in law on sexual offences in Northern Ireland affects you as a health professional.
Refugees, overseas visitors and vulnerable migrants
Refugee and asylum seeker patient health toolkitDo you treat patients who are refugees or asylum seekers? Find out more about their specific health needs and how to overcome common barriers.
Access to healthcare for overseas visitorsDoctors' roles and responsibilities when treating overseas visitors, particularly in regard to charging.
The law and ethics of abortionInformation on the law and ethics of abortion and BMA policy, including decriminalisation.
Working in conflicts and emergencies
Ethics toolkit for armed forces doctorsHow to best fulfill your ethical obligations when making difficult decisions while working as a doctor in the armed forces.
Working in conflicts and emergencies toolkitTo prepare humanitarian health professionals with the ethical dilemmas they may face when working in conflicts.
Working in detention settings
The doctor's role in restraint in custodial settingsThis guidance was developed to assist doctors as they navigate their ethical and legal responsibilities in circumstances where restraint or control is used.
Solitary confinement and children and young peopleRead our position statement on solitary confinement, which calls for an end to its use on young people and provides guidance for doctors.
The doctor's role in the youth secure estateThis report explores the role of doctors in protecting and promoting the health and wellbeing of children and young people – before, during, and after a period of detention.
Health and human rights in immigration detentionThis report explores the role of doctors in protecting and promoting the health-related human rights of detained individuals and calls for action from the government on detention policy and practice.
Forensic and secure environments ethics toolkitThis toolkit is designed to help you navigate the main areas of ethical concern you are likely to encounter in your practice as a forensic physician, including consent, treating vulnerable patients and working with dual loyalties.
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