The Erosion of Patient Confidentiality
The medical Profession recognizes that patients have a number of basic rights. These include but are not limited to the following: the right to reasonable response to his or her requests and need and needs for treatment within the hospital's capacity. The right to considerate, respectful care focused on the patient's individual needs. The right of the patient to make health care decisions, including the right to refuse treatment. The right to formulate advance directives. The right to be provided with information regarding treatment that enables the patient to make treatment decisions that reflect his or her wishes. The right to be provided upon admission to a health care facility with information about the health care provider's policies regarding advance directives, patient rights, and patient complaints. The right to participate in ethical decision making that may arise in the course of treatment. The right to be notified of any medical research or educational projects that may affect the patient's care. The right to privacy and confidentiality of information. The right of an authorized representative to exercise these rights behalf of the patient if the patient is unable to do so.
Confidentiality of information is an important basis for a good patient-physician relationship. The physician-patient relationship is confidential. The physicians duty to keep information private and confidential derives from ancient physician oaths, presently unchanged at their core, and from more recent legal recognition that an individual has the right to keep those things private which he desires to be kept private. Rules of the physician-patient confidentiality and other doctrines protect ones' privacy.
In the opinions of many in today's society this right seems to be dwindling. Many patients are...