In reply: Arnold makes a good point. We agree with him, and would resist today's increasing tendency, on public health grounds, to make it mandatory for doctors to report a variety of conditions suffered by their patients. In general the community is well served if doctors have the discretion to decide, in any particular case, whether the public interest in maintaining a patient's confidentiality is outweighed by the public interest in breaching that confidentiality in order to protect innocent third parties.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.