Patient Confidentiality

Topics: Physician, Medicine, Medical school Pages: 3 (1003 words) Published: January 30, 2012
Patient Confidentiality 1
Article background:
“Some 13 per cent of US medical schools have reported that their students have leaked confidential information about patients via blogs or social networking websites. The students didn't name names, but did provide enough personal information, such as the medical condition involved and hospital, for patients or their families to recognize who is being described…The information was provided by medical school administrators as part of a survey into students' behavior online.” (Callaway, 2009). Introduction:

Doctor-patient confidentiality, unlike doctor-patient privilege, is not based on legal concept (law), but instead is based on ethics and the principle that individuals seeking medical help/advice should not be hindered by fear that their medical concerns or conditions will be carelessly disclosed to others (full disclosure is required for doctors to be able to properly diagnose patients). Both, however, can be called upon in legal matters. Not only is what the patient tells/shows the doctor protected, but also the opinion or assessment formed by the doctor based on their examination of the patient. Privileges belongs to the patients, not the doctors or medical staff treating the patients. Generally, only a patient may waive this privilege through written consent, which, is required before a doctor or their staff can release any information about a patient. Describe the issue and its impact on the population it affects most: Divulging any patient information that can lead to identifying that patient is illegal. And while the students in the above mentioned article did not leak any of the patients’ names, they did give enough information (hospital name/location, medical Patient Confidentiality 2 condition, and treatments) that the patients themselves and others who knew their medical condition could identify the patients. Not only does this make the affiliated hospital look...

References: CALLAWAY, E. (2009, September 23). CALLAWAY . ABC News, PG 1…
National Library of Medicine. (2002). Retrieved from
Skene, University of Melbourne, L. (2012). The Law Book. Retrieved from
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