The British Medical Association (BMA) is appealing to Health Minister Simon Burns to redraft legislation that it believes undermines a patient's right to confidentiality. The Telegraph reports that the legislation allows certain government bodies and local authorities to access sensitive medical data without patient consent. Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the BMA, said, "The government has decided to place its desire for access to information over the need to respect patient confidentiality," adding that the legislation would "undermine the bond of trust between doctors and their patients and could have appalling consequences." A Department of Health spokesman said, "The bill does not change any of the existing legal safeguards, which are set out in the Data Protection Act and the common law of confidence.''
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