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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 38529
Experience:  Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
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I recently had a chin implant; private surgery, but I am not

Resolved Question:

I recently had a chin implant; private surgery, but I am not satisfied with the result as the implant is too small and it is buckled on one side. My surgeon has offered solutions, however, not until three months after surgery, but unfortunately, I have lost faith in my surgeon.

I subsequently went for private consultation with another surgeon (the doctor) with a view to him replacing the implant, and regrettably I divulged to him the name of my surgeon. The doctor declined to replace the implant. I later received a letter from the doctor, which read as if I had been to him for a second opinion, which I had not, and also stated that he had declined my request to replace the implant. However, I was outraged to find that the letter has been copied to my surgeon. I did not and would not have consented to this.

I have proof that my surgeon has received the letter and I have complained to the doctor that he had no right to do this, also explaining that it is likely he has caused further friction between myself and my surgeon. I also feel extremely humiliated about this towards my surgeon.

Can I sue the doctor, and if so for approximately what amount?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.


What the doctor has done here is a potential breach of data protection regulations. If a party has acted in contravention of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), then anyone who has suffered damage or distress as a result can potentially make a claim.


 


The first step is to report the alleged contravention to the Information Commissioner’s Office. They are the regulatory body that deals with breaches of data protection regulations and can investigate and fine the infringing party. However they will not award compensation to the victim so the only way to try and get any compensation is by going through court.


 


If the victim has only suffered distress and no financial damages, compensation is not available unless the breach related to the “special purposes” which means processing for artistic, literary or journalistic purposes. Any other breaches will not qualify and as your case does not fall within one of these areas then unfortunately it will not be covered.


 


If there have been financial losses as a result of the breach, then the case could be taken to court. I would not recommend that this is done straight away and suggest trying to reach some kind of compromise with the violating party. However, if that is not possible and court appears to be the only recourse then this leaflet contains useful information on how take a claim for data protection breaches to court:


 


http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/data_protection/practical_application/taking_a_case_to_court.pdf


 


Finally, you may also consider reporting the doctor to their regulatory body but that will not result in any compensation.

Customer:

I feel very unhappy about your reply. Since this doctor has disclosed details about my private consultation with him and caused me humiliation and distress whilst breaching GMC rules on confidentiality, how can there not be any justice for me?

Ben Jones :

I am sorry if that is not the answer you wanted to hear but all I can advise you on is your legal position and often that may not be what you expected. I cannot make up a law that would suit your circumstances and give you the answer you wanted to hear and have a duty to tell you about your rights as they actually stand

Customer:

Okay, but this law should be changed so that the offended could claim damages for the distress caused and I have complained so to the Information Commissioner; it is a miscarriage of justice, the way I see it.

Ben Jones :

I agree that the law does not always work in a way that we want it to and there are many laws and regulations that would be better changed, however that is not an easy process and it can often take years for even a small change to be introduced. All you can do at present is make your feelings known to the appropriate bodies

Customer:

Also, I am absolutely certain that that doctor disclosed out of pure disrespect for me. Now I know exactly why he was disinterested when I pointed out the buckling to him and did not even inspect it; he has not even mentioned it in his 'second opinion'. He also knew that I would not be able to sue and that he would get away with breaching the rules.

Ben Jones :

I cannot comment on the reasons behind his actions but if you believe that he had acted unprofessionally then that is a separate complaint you can make to his regulatory body

Customer:

Okay, I will mention that his 'second opinion' was incorrect also and give the reasons why. Thank you for your replies.

Ben Jones :

My pleasure and all the best

Ben Jones, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 38529
Experience: Specialist in UK Law with expertise in UK Employment Law
Ben Jones and 4 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you

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