Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Zambia Medical Association condemns LCC for publishing medical records of the dead


File: COPPERBELT University Students Union (COBUSU) members make a circle round the grave of their deceased colleagues during the burial

The Zambia Medical Association has strongly condemned the Lusaka City Council for releasing medical records in a newspaper of the dead whose bodies have not been claimed.

Association General Secretary Dr Francis Mupeta said the decision by the Council is abrogation of the medical ethics and a violation of the rights of the dead to privacy.

Dr Mupeta said it is shameful for a government office to publicise peoples’ illnesses.

“Are we losing medical ethics or we actually don’t have? The medical professional has been guided for centuries by medical ethics which has earned them trust by members of the public.

Hippocrates the Father of modern medicine wrote; “Whatever, in connection with my professional service, or not in connection with it, I see or hear, in the life of men, which ought not to be spoken of abroad, I will not divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret”.

He added, “The Oath of Hippocrates has undergone many revisions to suit modern time. The World Medical Association Physician’s pledge adopted by Zambia Medical Association in 2018 states; “I WILL RESPECT the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died”.

“Therefore it’s very shameful for a government office of officer to publicise peoples’ illnesses. The office of the TC ought to have consulted before defiling medical ethics in public like they have in the Daily Nation newspaper! It is a violation of Rights of the dead to privacy.”


  1. Bufi….
    The details given are ok.
    Even during the funeral such data is mentioned. Its not detailed information given.
    They did not say “head off or excessive bleeding” but simply “RTA”.

    • Dr Francis Mupeta is a lemon.

      Nothing wrong with releasing the dead if anything this will help the relatives to locate people they would have thought went missing.



    • @Mushota, easy… Francis is saying that don’t publish for example “Mushota died of her 7th abortion”. Or “half body” or “.. male missing d!ck”. It’s indeed unethical.
      It’s about the reason why.

    • Forget about ethics and morals in Zambia. Do you even have any ethics and morals in any sector in Zambia? If you can steal from the blind, isn’t that the highest level of ethical and moral bankruptcy?

  2. Most of them on that list are John Doe and Jane Does anyway…these bodies have been unclaimed you will be surprised what they do with these bodies these doctors from ZMA.

    • They are very relevant. It is notions like you have made that keep our nation back tracking. Professional bodies help uphold professionalism. Something Zambia needs urgently.

    • Mr Nzeru Zakudala, ZMA is a toothless organization irrelevant to the professional growth and protection of its members! What ethics are there to talk about when doctors steal from the sick and the dying and ZMA is mute or issues an indifferent statement? The time we saw how useless ZMA is is the time young Zambian doctors were retired in PF interest without any iota of professional misconduct! Unless ZMA rebrands itself, it will remain in the same ranks like Religious Affairs Ministry – irrelevant!

  3. Am struggling to deduce which is more unethical between publishing the details of unclaimed bodies and failure to provide basic amenities for the Living due to selfish looting of public funds by people in power…
    I acknowledge the importance of ethics in all sectors of our society but more pronouncements of this word is needed on the governance circles.

  4. Very stupid doctor. What disease is RTA. By the way the same ***** doctor will write the cause of death on the Death Certificate and it will be stated during burial by relatives for all to hear

  5. I DONT SEE ANY VIOLATION OF MEDICAL ETHICS here the objective of LCC is to give as much detail as possible to give hint to relatives locate their beloved ONES

  6. This an annual routine. Every year Councils do that before burying the bodies. Miles’s LCC has gone a step further rather than just sticking up the list at the Civic Centre or Gazette Notice.

    So Mupeta is being political pontificating like that. Previous ZMA Presidents treated this as a none issue.

    When is ZRA publishing the list of tax defaulters? Looking forward to that day!!! Transparency everywhere is overdue especially for those claiming to be rich like that one.

  7. ZMA is right. You can publish names but leave med info. For example, if HH has MAD COW DISEASE, you cannot put that in the paper.

    • In fact, ZMA is the one creating mysteries around diseases and self-stigma in the name of ethics! More are dying due to self-stigma, which prevents them from seeking help! ZMA must help people get comfortable with their diagnosis! Look at John Macaine, he was comfortable with his diagnosis till death! I am sure he had a more correct death certificate than many we have in Zambia! I am yet to understand the relevance of ZMA though!

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