We refer to the ICBC article in the April 2008 issue of the BC Medical Journal, 2008;50:127, titled “Inquiring minds: Insurance lawyers and their requests to talk with physicians.” The article states, “There is no obligation on the physician to cooperate with the defence lawyer and submit to an interview. However, a refusal may have inconvenient consequences.”
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia is concerned that physicians reviewing this article may not appreciate that there are important ethical and professional obligations which must be weighed in considering any requests from defence counsel for the release of patient information or participation in interviews. The College has previously provided specific guidance to physicians on this topic which, unfortunately, was not referred to in the article. The College’s position is that physicians should discuss with their patients and/or their patients’ lawyers all such requests and give due consideration to their patients’ wishes. Physicians who receive requests from defence counsel to release patient information or participate in interviews are advised to review the guidance provided by the College on its web site at www.cpsbc.ca under Resource Manual for Physician Requests from Defence Lawyers. Physicians may also contact the College directly if they have specific questions in this area.
—A.J. Burak, MD
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
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For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org