My yak tells me that he too would be very uncomfortable with this approach (although he also assures me that he is never likely to be quizzed in such a way, or to do the quizzing for that matter). It seems like a pointless exercise that is going to achieve very little other than alienating people that need help. Do they really expect to get thruthful answers to such questions? Anyway, this from today's Telegraph (UK):
GPs to ask patients about crimes
By John Steele, Crime Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:09am BST 18/06/2007
Doctors are being forced to question some patients about crimes they have committed and fill out a form for a government database.
GPs, medical professionals and others working in drug treatment programmes will be required from this month to ask addicts whether, in the past four weeks, they have been involved in shoplifting, selling drugs, vehicle crime, theft or burglary, fraud, forgery or violence.
The "Treatment Outcomes Profile" form - which is aimed at measuring the success of drugs treatment - has troubled some doctors, who believe it could either deter patients from seeking treatment because they fear doctors will breach confidentiality, or will encourage them to lie.
The form has been introduced quietly by the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA).
It will be sent to doctors treating "substance misusers" at more than 70 sites across England and Wales.
The aim of the one-page form is to assess the social activity and health of patients receiving treatment for the use of drugs including crack cocaine, amphetamines, cannabis and alcohol.
The form requires the name and date of birth of the patient, though the NTA has suggested the information can be "anonymised" before being passed on.
Concerns about the forms emerged on the website of Healthcare Republic, an on-line newsletter for doctors. One GP commented: "What on earth are providers of services supposed to do with the forced confessions they might receive?
"If you were receiving treatment, and were suddenly asked about criminal activity for the purpose of reporting it, how truthful would you be?"
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