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DrRussMD
DrRussMD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 65015
Experience:  Board certified Internal medicine and Integrative medicine. Many years of experience all areas.
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If a doctor has confirmed a patient of theirs has a mental

Resolved Question:

If a doctor has confirmed a patient of theirs has a mental health disorder, can that person be deemed fit to work with society's most vulnerable adults with complex health and disability needs? Would this be deemed a liability in view of the protection of vulnerable adults (POVA)?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 4 years ago.
Hello from JA


I am Dr. Thomas, board certified in internal medicine and I can help you with this and any follow up questions. I cover a lot of ground and might give you an answer or ask for information, but use reply to communicate with me for questions or added details.


That is a rather complicated question from the medical perspective.

What mental health disorder.

Someone treated for anxiety example, probably would not be excluded from any job consideration.

What you describe however, is perhaps skizophrenia.

A skizophrenic with active symptoms like this should of course, not be in charge of vulnerable adults at all, from a medical perspective.

It would not be ethical to force an employer to employ someone who would
endanger themselves
endanger others
endanger the business.

Beyond this the question becomes a legal one, not a medical question.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your reply. The person in question has stated that they see a 6 year old child sitting in the back of their car. They are constantly afraid that they are being followed. The doctor who has diagnosed a mental health issue is, apparently, a family friend and I wonder if this is also a conflict of interest and her objectivity could be questionable. It is quite apparent that the mental health the person is suffering from is also being used as a means of getting money from the agency she works for whilst her doctor continues to write sick notes. The doctor has just issued another 56 day note effective from yesterday's date. Is this ethical of the doctor? This last note results in the employees absence from her work for 7 months. It is also very apparent that this person has been consistently lying to the doctor and the agency has written evidence to the contrary, which the doctor has not asked to see. Surely health care practices and agencies should be working together to protect the vulnerable. The agency the person has been working for is desperate to talk to the doctor as it would appear that the doctor is not hearing the truth and certainly not obtaining the whole picture. Is this doctor failing in her duties, not just to protect her patient but also in safeguarding the vulnerable adults her patient works with?

Expert:  DrRussMD replied 4 years ago.
The symptoms are not normal.
A psychiatrist needs to make the diagnosis in this case.
The first issue is if this is the doctors area of expertise, if not, a psychiatrist needs to be consulted.
Everything else is moot compared to this consideration.

I can not say if the notes are ethical or not without seeing the medical chart, the findings and the diagnosis.

This is a situation where the company needs to insist on an evaluation from the specialist.


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