asked the Minister of Health what teaching hospitals make it a condition of admittance and treatment that the patient should if required be subjected to teaching procedures; how many patients have been refused admittance on account of refusing to give such permission; and which hospitals ask the patient to give a signed statement accepting this condition.
The answer to each part of the Question is none; five hospitals have on a few occasions recommended attendance at another hospital but none refuse treatment that is urgent or not readily obtainable elsewhere.
May we take it that in no circumstances has any patient ever been sent out of hospital for refusing to allow an examination and, secondly, that any suggestion that there is any widespread condition involved or made is unfounded?
I have answered the Questions quite specifically and I did so after making considerable inquiries I was told that the number of patients unwilling to take part in teaching is negligible and that some hospitals knew of none and others of only two or three in recent years. Perhaps I might mention that when I entered a teaching hospital for a medical examination, I was surrounded by students who were told by the consultant that they had better pull up their socks if the hospital was to stand any chance of getting the funds it needed.
In the course of his inquiries, did the right hon. Gentleman make sure that in all cases teaching hospitals asked the permission of patients before using them as teaching material?
No, I did not. However, many hospitals, I am told, now explain their teaching activities in leaflets which are handed to patients on admission. I believe that half the undergraduate and one-third of the postgraduate hospitals do this.
Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that in all cases the permission of the patient should be sought? If he does agree, will he take steps to see that that is done?