Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality
Access to Justice and Legal Costs: Discussion (Resumed)
Dr. Brian Doherty:
It is a very specific question and I am always loath to get into theoreticals. It is a misconduct offence under the Act for any solicitor to engage in fraud or dishonesty, so it would be improper for any solicitor to intervene with a doctor to try to amend a report in a dishonest or fraudulent way. There are scenarios whereby, if the solicitor was to receive a report he thought did not cover all of the actual facts, he may write back to a doctor to say it requires amendment. There is certainly a line to be drawn and it is not for the solicitor to engage in diagnosing or coming up with medical conclusions. It is for the doctor to do so independently and also in an ethical way.