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The Court of Appeal held it ‘arguable’ there was a legal obligation to disclose genetic test results to the patient’s daughter, against his wishes.

A father was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease. This meant each of his daughters, including the claimant who was pregnant, had a 50% chance of developing the condition. However he did not want them told. The claimant had her child and found out afterwards about her father’s illness, and that she had Huntington’s herself (limiting the time for which she would be able to care for the child). The child was also at risk of getting the condition. The claimant said she should have been told earlier so she could have had an abortion.

In ABC v St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust the Court of Appeal considered that the GMC guidance can create an ethical obligation to disclose in the public interest, and held it ‘arguable’ that there was also a legal obligation to disclose to the claimant the genetic test results of her father.

However some of the reasoning related particularly to genetic testing, given the way that it shows information which of particular importance for a limited number of relatives.

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