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Doctor-patient confidentiality

Most Pittsburgh residents have heard of something called doctor-patient confidentiality. The relationship a patients have with their doctor is very personal and full of a lot of sensitive information. When doctor-patient confidentiality has been breached patients may have legal rights to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Doctor patient confidentiality is the expectation that the doctor will hold the information they learn about the patient in confidence and will not disclose the information to others. Doctors cannot disclose information about the patient to third parties without the patient's permission. Doctor patient confidentiality exists to make patients feel comfortable. When a patient knows that their private information will remain private they are more likely to share important information with their doctor in order to help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis. Things that are covered by the doctor patient confidentiality include medical records, and communications between the patient and medical staff.

A breach of doctor patient confidentiality can be devastating. A breach of confidentiality can occur if a patient's private information is disclosed to a third party without the patient's consent and causes harm to the patient. There are some exceptions to confidentiality including the release of information to state health officials or as the result of a court order that requires medical records to be released.

If people believe their medical records were released to a third party by a negligent physician without their consent they may want to speak with a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. An attorney can offer expert advice and information regarding breach of doctor patient confidentiality.

Source: injury.findlaw.com, "Breaches of doctor-patient confidentiality," accessed on Feb. 8, 2016

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