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Breach of doctor-patient confidentiality can lead to lawsuit

When you go to see your doctor, one of the last things on your mind is whether or not that doctor will release or reveal information about your visit to other people. This is because of doctor-patient confidentiality, an incredibly important concept that every doctor must uphold. If doctor-patient confidentiality didn't exist, there would be many people who would simply avoid going to the doctor out of fear that their embarrassing medical condition would be broadcast to the whole world.

Doctor-patient confidentiality is mutually beneficial. For the patient, they feel secure in going to the doctor and revealing very personal, and important, information to a trusted medical professional. For the doctor, it helps to know that the patient is secure so that he or she gives you all of the relevant and necessary information you need to make a decision or prognosis about their condition.

What many people don't realize about doctor-patient confidentiality is that it can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits. Doctors are bound to this confidentiality even beyond the death of a patient. If they reveal information to individuals or parties who are not supposed to have access to a patient's records or medical information, then they can be held liable for medical malpractice. A breach of the confidentiality arrangement can also occur if the patient does not consent to information being handed over to other people or parties.

It doesn't matter if you stopped seeing the doctor -- they are still bound to doctor-patient confidentiality.

Source: FindLaw, "Breaches of Doctor-Patient Confidentiality," Accessed Aug. 5, 2016

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