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Doctor-patient breach of confidentiality in medical malpractice

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Residents of New York expect to receive the highest level of care when they see doctors and other health care providers. Unfortunately, a malpractice case might stem from a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality.

What is doctor-patient confidentiality?

Doctor-patient confidentiality is a type of oath that doctors take in assuring patients that their medical information, including any treatment they receive, is kept private. Patients are meant to be protected when they have a relationship with a doctor so that they can trust that their diagnosis and treatment are kept confidential.

However, there may be occasions when doctor-patient confidentiality is breached. When that happens, the patient could have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Doctors are meant to keep various information on a patient protected and private. That includes diagnosis of a medical condition, treatment, testing and lab reports, medical history, and all communication between the doctor and the patient and with other medical professionals.

How can doctor-patient confidentiality be breached?

A medical malpractice case might ensue if there’s a breach of doctor-patient confidentiality. A breach occurs when the patient’s private, protected information is leaked to a third party without the patient’s knowledge or consent. While there are some exceptions, those exceptions are extremely limited.

Per the law, patient confidentiality is protected, which means that if a patient’s personal or medical information is somehow leaked, it can lead to the patient suffering harm. The patient may have cause to file a medical malpractice lawsuit or one for invasion of privacy.

Doctor-patient confidentiality is meant to last throughout the patient’s lifetime even if they stop seeing that doctor. It even extends beyond the patient’s death. As a result, even after the patient has died, the doctor is required to retain the confidentiality of their protected medical information.