Philippine Medical Association censures Dr. Rustico Jimenez on Pacquiao and Parkinson’s statements
By Rich Mazon
Thu, 17 Jan 2013
The Philippine Medical Association (P.M.A.) in a press conference yesterday denounced one of its member’s public statement regarding Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao’s status of health.
The foremost group of physicians in the Philippines stated the importance of maintaining confidentiality regarding a patient’s health information by its members and of any practicing doctor in the country.
“The channeling should be from the primary physician and nobody else can make any opinion or express any position regarding the health of any patient that is not his patient,” stated Dr. Santiago Del Rosario, a member of the PMA’s Ethics Committee.
In a radio interview two weeks ago, neurologist Dr. Rustico Jimenez stated that Pacquiao may be having early signs of Parkinson’s disease based on his observations of the boxer’s speech and hand movements on television.
Dr. Jimenez’s statement drew unfavorable reaction from the public and from Pacquiao himself who denied the doctor’s assertions about his health. The boxer and his team also contemplated legal action against Jimenez who is also the head of the Private Hospital Association of the Philippines.
“As a policy, we at P.M.A. must not issue such statement on the alleged medical condition of Pacquiao unless he has been diagnosed and undergone examinations. Supposedly, if Pacquiao is Jimenez’s patient, the findings must be treated with confidentiality and that could only be announced if there is a patient’s approval. In this case, Pacquiao is not his patient, therefore Jimenez is not allowed to take up the matter of alleged Parkinson’s disease,” stated PMA president, Dr. Modesto Llamas in Wednesday’s press conference at the group’s main office in Quezon City.
The P.M.A. also through a press release stated that “The P.M.A. refrains from issuing statements regarding controversial cases especially involving national figures unless called upon by higher authorities.”
Dr. Llamas also added that a medical practitioner should avoid releasing sensitive information regarding any individual, especially that of a public figure to avoid any confusion that may arise from such statements.
“Especially on the case of Congressman Manny Pacquiao, I will just keep quiet and not say anything else. I don't want the public to misunderstand me,” commented the PMA head.
The P.M.A. is planning to communicate with Dr. Jimenez to obtain his side in this subject matter.
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