Ethical And Legal Aspect Of Issuing Medical Certificates and Reports Which Doctors Can Issue To The Patient

medical record

A medical certificate is an important document that every practitioner has to write frequently in his everyday practice.
Any doctor who has clinical responsibility for the patient’s treatment must provide the medical certificate of the record when needed. Unfortunately, many of us are ignorant of any ethical and legal aspect involved in the issuing a medical certificate.

There are TWO broad groups of medical certificate

The certificates of general nature

This includes the routine certificate issued by any medical practitioner to any patient under his care. They include a statement certifying:-

1. Patient being under medical treatment/leave recommendations.

2. Fitness for resuming work or duty.

3. Survival certificate to an old pensioner.

4. Freedom from illness certificate for insurance coverage

5. Fitness for driving a swimming or gym exercises

6. The common certifying forms, for reimbursement of a benefit of various natures

Most of them have a common format in their contain have the common patterns. Conventionally it is not necessary to issue a certificate for periods of sickness lasting 7 days or less however on the clinical scenes most patient need and demand the certificates.

The certificates of special nature

There are patient specific and often are issued by experts in various medical branches. The most common example of these are:-

1.  Recommending change of work pattern that is certifying in need of restricted pattern of lifestyle for a person in chronic CCF.

2. Recommending special privilege that is certified assistance during train or air travel certifying physical handicap for tax concession.

3. Certified disabilities that is urologist certifying a person impotent or azoospermic.Orthopedic surgeon certifying injuries and disability.Ophthalmologist certified blindness. Psychiatrist certified mental retardation etc.

Request for the certificate

1. It can we ask for by the patient himself, his employer or other authorities. The patient’s verbal request is sufficient to give him the necessary certificate.

2. Request by anyone else is to be responded to only when it is made in writing. Here the Dr just make the judgment about the validity of such a request and decide whether to issue certificate process third party or not.

3. In reality, every patient’s concern was being taken for the treatment and for the disclosure of illness in any relevant certification, however, this is not commonly followed


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