Law Report: Confidentiality of Medical Records Alone Would Not Justify Disclosure of Source ; 22 May 2003 Mersey Care NHS Trust V Ackroyd ( EWCA Civ 663) Court of Appeal, Civil Division (Lord Justice Ward, Lord Justice May and Lord Justice Carnwath) 6 May 2003
Kate O'Hanlon, Barrister, The Independent (London, England)
AN ORDER that a journalist disclose his source could not be compatible with article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights unless it was justified by an overriding public interest and, although there was a clear public interest in preserving the confidentiality of medical records, that alone could not be automatically regarded as an overriding requirement without examining the facts of a particular case.
The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal of Robin Ackroyd against summary judgment requiring him to disclose his source of information about a patient in the care of Mersey Care NHS Trust.
The defendant was an investigative journalist. Following the decision of the House of Lords in Ashworth Hospital Authority v MGN Ltd  4 All ER 193, the defendant was named as the intermediary who had supplied MGN with information derived from confidential hospital records about Ian Brady, the "Moors Murderer".
The claimant commenced proceedings against the defendant, seeking the identification of any of its employees who had been involved in the acquisition by him of the hospital records. It relied on the jurisdiction of the court to order a person who became mixed up in the wrongdoing of others to facilitate it to help the wronged person, by giving full information and disclosing the identity of the wrongdoers (the Norwich Pharmacal jurisdiction).
The judge gave summary judgment for the claimant and ordered the defendant to disclose his source. He found that, following the decision in Ashworth, the defendant had no real prospect of successfully resisting the claim.
The defendant appealed, contending that it was properly arguable that his source would have a public interest to a claim by the hospital for breach of confidence …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Law Report: Confidentiality of Medical Records Alone Would Not Justify Disclosure of Source ; 22 May 2003 Mersey Care NHS Trust V Ackroyd ( EWCA Civ 663) Court of Appeal, Civil Division (Lord Justice Ward, Lord Justice May and Lord Justice Carnwath) 6 May 2003. Contributors: Kate O'Hanlon, Barrister - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: May 22, 2003. Page number: 20. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.