Obligations to Society
Physician Patient Relationship
Risks and Benefits
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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AbstractOne of the dilemmas facing British consultants in sexually transmitted diseases who are treating AIDS patients is whether to disclose the diagnosis to patients' general practitioners. Arguments have been advanced for specialists' breaching confidentiality and notifying general practitioners against patients' wishes in the interest of normal medical practice, the patients' best interests, the interests of health personnel and other patients, and the interests of society in general. Gillon examines each argument and concludes that none is sufficient to justify violating physician patient confidentiality in most cases. He argues that the goal of slowing the spread of AIDS is most likely to be achieved by gaining and keeping the "trust and cooperation of those at greatest risk" for the disease, and that protecting the confidentiality of the AIDS diagnosis is in everyone's best interest. (KIE abstract)
BMJ (British Medical Journal). 1987 Jun 27; 294(6588): 1675-1677.