Doctors go through years of training so that they are equipped with the tools to help people who are ill or injured. Medical practitioners owe a legal duty of care to patients to provide them with the best possible treatment.
Another legal duty that is often overlooked is doctor-patient confidentiality. The relationship between a doctor and patient should be founded upon trust. Your health is very personal, and you may not want everyone to know about it.
Doctors are not allowed to share your sensitive information with third parties unless you give them permission to do so.
Why is confidentiality so important?
As stated, the relationship between doctor and patient is founded upon trust. A patient may be embarrassed about a health condition they are facing, and it isn’t always easy to open up about these matters. Doctor-patient confidentiality offers a safety net so that the patient can feel more comfortable sharing.
What constitutes a breach of confidentiality?
A breach of confidentiality occurs when a doctor shares sensitive information with a third party without the consent of the patient.
Are there any exceptions?
In special circumstances, a doctor may be permitted to share sensitive information. For instance, if the information is required for a legal case such as a personal injury lawsuit. A health insurance provider may also gain access to sensitive information for pressing matters.
If your sensitive information has been shared without your permission, this could amount to medical malpractice. Seek legal guidance to find out more about your options.