I received a letter from a doctor which says I might be at risk of inheriting a genetic disease. How did the doctor get my contact details?
The Privacy Commissioner has made a temporary determination allowing doctors to collect and use the contact details of their patient's genetic relatives in limited circumstances.
The doctor might have obtained your contact details from a public source of information such as a telephone directory or from the patient.
Sometimes the practitioner may already have your contact details on their file if, for example, you are also their patient or you are listed as the patient's next of kin.
Are there limits on how the doctor can use my contact details?
The temporary determination only permits health practitioners to collect or use your contact details to inform you that you may be at risk of inheriting a condition. The practitioner must have a reasonable belief that this is necessary to lessen or prevent a serious threat to your life, health or safety.
For more information, see Health and genetic information.