Doctor-patient confidentiality is the term used to describe an agreement between a doctor and their patient. It states that the doctor may not share information about the patient, including their lab results and medical conditions, to the general public. However, there are many stipulations within this moral code and there can be some tricky legal situations that arise. If you think your doctor went against the doctor-patient confidentiality rule, here are some things to know first.
Why is there a doctor-patient confidentiality rule?
The doctor-patient confidentiality rule is there both for the doctor and the patient. As a patient, you know you can trust your doctor with personal information about your condition and symptoms. This trust lets you get the best care. From the doctor's point of view, they are able to successfully treat your symptoms because they know that you are more trusting of their code of conduct as a doctor. It works well for both parties, as the doctor treats you effectively and you get the care you need without having to worry about other people knowing your personal medical business.
What is covered under this rule?
There are many things that are covered under the doctor-patient confidentiality code of conduct. First of all, your doctor can't discuss personal things you have revealed to them about your own medical situation. They also cannot share certain opinions and conclusions they have come across while performing your examination, aside from what they put in your medical file. Confidentiality includes examinations, communication, your medical records and lab reports, and any pre-existing medical conditions.
What is a breach of confidentiality?
While most doctors follow the doctor-patient confidentiality rule, there have been breaches of confidentiality. This occurs when the doctor discloses a patient's medical or private information to a third party, without first getting their consent. There are some exceptions to the confidentiality clause that states certain people can have access to your medical files, such as legal personnel, court orders, or a state health official. Other than that, the doctor or medical staff should never give out your confidential information.
If you believe you are a victim of unlawful breach of confidentiality by your doctor or a member of their medical staff, contact a lawyer specializing in medical malpractice, which is often times a personal injury attorney.. This is considered a medical malpractice case because they gave out information that was not theirs to give. If this information caused you injury in some way, such as lowering your reputation, or emotional turmoil, you can sue for it.
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