Patient support in case of inability to drive a car

Laurent Levecq, Margot D’Affnay, Alice Bughin Published in the journal : October 2022 Category : Ophtalmology

Summary :

The physician’s role is no longer limited to trying to make his patient aware of his physical or cognitive impairment, hoping that he will partially or fully give up on driving. The physician must support the patient and point out that there might be solutions, whether in the form of restrictions or conditions, likely to save him from financial and legal setbacks. In rare cases, it may happen that the dialogue is not possible anymore, the incapacity is proven and puts at risk both the patient and the third parties. In this specific situation, the physician might free himself from medical confidentiality without risk of ethical or criminal penalties, provided progressive and proportional actions.

What is already known about the topic?

The quality of the physician-patient relationship is fundamental when announcing and supporting driving incapacity.

What does this article bring up for us?

Medical confidentiality is the keystone of the physician-patient relationship and might exceptionally be broken if the patient keeps denying his visual incapacity, making him a real danger for himself and for third parties.

Key Words

Medical impairment, driving, medical confidentiality, ethical responsibility, criminal responsibility