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Breaches in doctor-patient confidentiality can lead to lawsuit

Even though many people have heard of doctor-patient confidentiality, it is easy for many people to just disregard -- or, maybe more accurately, not fully recognize -- the importance of this clause. Doctor-patient confidentiality is the premise that a person who goes to a doctor to seek medical treatment should not have to fear that his or her condition will be disclosed to other people. If doctor-patient confidentiality didn't exist, many people would avoid going to the doctor out of fear of embarrassment. That would lead to a substantially less healthy population.

Doctor-patient confidentiality, then, is one of the most important aspects of the medical field. When it isn't applied properly, the system suffers -- and so can the patient in question.

Continuing down this line of thinking, it is possible for breaches in doctor-patient confidentiality to qualify as medical malpractice. If a physician passes on information about the patient to a third party without the patient's permission, it may constitute a breach of the confidentiality clause. However, there are exceptions to this in certain cases under certain circumstances.

One important note about doctor-patient confidentiality is that this notion extends well beyond a patient passes away. The duty remains if the patient goes to see a new doctor, or if the patient is receiving treatment elsewhere.

If you suspect that your physician has breached doctor-patient confidentiality, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. These cases can become convoluted, so it is best to have legal help on your side.

Source: FindLaw, "Breaches of Doctor-Patient Confidentiality," Accessed Jan. 20, 2016

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