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Breach of Doctor-Patient Confidentiality

There are certain relationships that, under the eyes of the law, require the consent of one or both parties before any information can be disclosed to a third party. This includes a relationship between a doctor and patient, a therapist and patient, and an attorney and client. These relationships all involve incredibly sensitive and personal information and, therefore, confidentiality is designed to encourage open and forthcoming communication between both parties to ensure that the best interests of all involved are served.

What happens when the confidentiality between a doctor and patient is breached and sensitive information is disclosed to another party?

Defining Doctor-Patient Confidentiality

The confidentiality that exists between doctor and patient is based on the notion that a patient should not be concerned about seeking medical treatment out of fear that his or her ailment will be discussed with others. It is designed to make a patient feel comfortable enough to disclose all pertinent information necessary for a doctor to effectively provide treatment. As such, once a doctor begins to treat a patient, it is expected that he or she will not divulge any of the medical information he or she has regarding the patient to a third party without the patient’s consent, barring a few exceptions, such as issues that pertain to health insurance.

What Does Doctor-Patient Confidentiality Cover?

Doctor-patient confidentiality generally covers any information a patient reveals to a doctor, in addition to any opinions and conclusions the doctor forms after examining the patient. It also covers all medical records, including medical history, pre-existing conditions, lab reports, and any other communication between doctor and patient or other professional staff working for the patient’s doctor.

Breaching Confidentiality

Now that we have defined the doctor-patient confidentiality, we can define what it means to breach it. Generally, breach of doctor-patient confidentiality occurs when the private information of a patient is disclosed to a third party without his or her consent. Since it is protected under state law, if your doctor were to breach this duty, you would be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is also important to note that any information regarding your health and treatment while under your doctor’s care would remain confidential even if you are no longer a patient. In fact, your records and information would continue to be protected after your death.

Medical Malpractice Attorney in Long Island

If your doctor breached confidentiality and disclosed personal information to a third party, you have a right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against him or her. At the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli in New Jersey, our skilled medical malpractice attorney has the knowledge, experience, and insight to effectively represent you and recover the damages to which you are entitled.

Get started on your medical malpractice case today and reach out to our law firm at (516) 628-6402 to request a free initial case evaluation with our compassionate and knowledgeable attorney.