Now we see just how widely that power is being interpreted by some in the healthcare sector:
An attempt to discover how fat British children are has been hampered by the refusal of many families to take part in the study…
Tam Fry, the chairman of the Child Growth Foundation, said that the exercise had been a waste of time. "Nationally, the data is useless," he said. He blamed the guidelines drawn up by a committee dominated by politically correct attitudes.
He is redrafting the guidelines for 2007 and intends to take a tougher line. "The Social Care Act says that when there is an urgent need for medical information it can override an individual's right to refuse." (The Times, 21/12/06, p.24)
Actually, the legislation does not say that. It says that the government can by order require private information (such as weight) to be shared when it is in the possession of a third party. Even so, what "urgent need" do we have for nationwide information on children's weight that would justify this invasion of privacy?