I know there are a number of health freaks on here but anyone else is welcome to contribute.
Can anyone think of a practical example where the serious harm test might be used to withhold disclosure of health data under a SAR ( likely to cause serious harm to the physical or mental health of the data subject or another individual)?
One of the professional bodies (BMA or GMC) gave the example of a subject applying for personal data which consisted of sexual abuse allegations made by a child - which may indeed qualify but for which the test is hardly necessary as it would fail the "Reasonable in all the circumstances" test for mixed data.
Seems to me the test is largely a hangover from a bygone paternalistic era when doctors might withhold difficult diagnoses in the patient's interests and not want to let the cat out by the SAR back door. Current duties of candour make that scenario most unlikely and I have yet to find an occasion when the test has been applied in earnest.
I have used the similar test often in social work cases but that is a very different beast and social work files are much more likely to have unmixed data about other people given in confidence.
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