Bloodgate decision on Friday – learning from the past…

The Royal Society of Medicine (London) hosted a conference on sports medicine, ethics, and law last night (Jan 11, 2011). Before punsters start with the ‘I thought that was a contradiction in terms’, this fascinating meeting brought debate about:

  • ‘Bloodgate’,
  • the ethics of taping a ‘non-injury’ so as this obvious decoy would draw tackles away from a truly injured (and untaped part)  and also,
  • legal interpretation of common sports medicine behaviours.

Do coaches know that every time they discuss a player’s injury – without getting a player’s approval first, counts as a violation of the code of confidentiality between the player and his or her medical team?

Professor Mike McNamee from Swansea, chartered physiotherapist (former England Rugby Union) Steph Brennan and lawyer/doctor David Thomson shared their thoughts about various issues.

A timely issue is the treatment of Steph Brennan – our spy at the RSM event understands that his blight on the profession was to to provide a fake blood vial (as in the films/movies) to a player to permit a convenient exit stage left for that player given that Rugby does not have in interchange system.

Brennan was deregistered for life for this – which to this editor seems a penalty way too steep for the crime. Brennan’s appeal to higher courts is decided this Friday. He’s done his time, he’s learned his lesson – let the man walk free.

See the related BMJ editorial (note that you have to scroll down to page 4 of the 6 page BMJ PDF please)

Please post your comments below – this is not a black and white case is it?

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