Divided Loyalties: A Physician's Responsibilities in an Information Age
Author(s)Gellman, Robert M.
Conflict of Interest
Duty to Warn
Obligations to Society
Physician Patient Relationship
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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AbstractThe traditional obligation of the physician to protect patient confidentiality is increasingly coming into conflict with demands for the dissemination of medical information to government agencies, third party payers, researchers, the police, public health officials, the Secret Service, and others. Gellman traces the development of U.S. law concerning the physician patient privilege, reporting statutes, and the ownership of medical records. He then discusses emerging conflicts between the physician's responsibility to protect confidentiality and statutory requirements for discretionary or compulsory disclosure of medical information. He contends that physicians are being required to make decisions about disclosure in the absence of clearly defined, up-to-date legal or ethical guidance. (KIE abstract)
Social Science and Medicine. 1986; 23(8): 817-826.