Queen's University

Medical reporting requirements unfairly penalizes heart patients: Queen's University expert

2012-11-02

Queen’s University cardiology professor Chris Simpson can talk about the problems with legally requiring doctors to report people whose medical conditions might impair their driving abilities.

Dr. Simpson feels the legal requirement unfairly penalizes heart patients who in many cases pose little danger on the road. Dr. Simpson debated the topic at the Canadian Cardiovascular Society’s annual meeting on Tuesday.

“Many doctors have this sinking feeling that we’re reporting these patients and causing them distress and hardship, and there’s no proof it is doing any good,” said Dr. Simpson who is the head of the Queen’s University cardiology department. “The medical reports lead to license suspensions. I am worried some patients lie to their doctor about dangerous symptoms because they don’t want to risk losing their driving privileges.”

Dr. Simpson, who also works out of Kingston General Hospital, feels it would be better if physicians simply urged patients not to drive when the danger seems real, or if at least there was no legal requirement for doctors to report.

Please note Dr. Simpson is only available for phone interviews.

To arrange an interview, please contact communication officers Michael Onesi at 613.533.6000 ext. 77513 ormichael.onesi@queensu.ca or Anne Craig at 613-533-2877 or Anne.Craig@queensu.ca at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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