German Traffic Court: Should doctors report people who are unfit to drive?

When seniors or epileptics build traffic accidents, the outrage is great. Experts are now advising at the German Traffic Court Day whether there should be an obligation for doctors to report unfitness to drive. The discussion is explosive.

Imagine you tell your ophthalmologist that your vision is getting worse and that you are afraid of causing accidents. He says you can’t drive a car anymore. A few weeks later you get a letter from the authorities: driving ban! Has your doctor betrayed your trust?

It is a classic conflict of objectives – medical confidentiality is opposed to a legitimate interest of the general public: the protection of other road users. So far, doctors have not been obliged to involve the authorities in such cases. They only have to make a report in exceptional cases, for example if they learn of a planned serious crime.

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