In case an individual has a health problem that needs medical attention, anything that person discusses with the physician is kept between the two. The health care provider is required to uphold a doctor-patient confidentiality agreement. This agreement is based on the concept that a patient needs not to be concerned about seeking treatment for fear that his/her private medical information would be disclosed to any other person.
In case information shared by you with the health professional was mishandled or shared by the professional without your consent, it is the breach of the agreement. You might be entitled to pursue a lawsuit against the healthcare professional. An experienced medical malpractice lawyer can recommend you with the best legal course of action after reviewing the case thoroughly.
Aspects that Fall Under the Doctor-Patient Confidentiality
A health of a person is a personal issue, specifically if that person has a health issue that he/she would not feel comfortable discussing. Doctor-patient confidentiality is significant as it makes the patient comfortable sharing the details about their health. Moreover, the more information a health professional has about a patient, the easier it would be for the professional to make a diagnosis as well as provide the best possible care.
The duty of confidentiality continues until the patient lives and even after the death of the patient. The confidentiality agreement covers
- Information regarding appointments, examinations as well as procedures discussed with the health care professional.
- All the medical records such as medical history, laboratory reports, pre-existing conditions, and X-rays.
- All the conclusions, opinions as well as diagnoses that physician made after examinations
- All the communication between the physician and patient as well as other professionals involved in the treatment of the patient.
Privileges and Waiver Rules
In most of the cases, the physician does not possess the right to disclose the information of the patient. In case the patient files a lawsuit and goes to court, he/she would have an opportunity to declare the privilege in case the physician begins to disclose the privileged information. The medical malpractice attorney of the patient needs to object to the information disclosure. In case the patient or lawyer does not object, then the patient waives the privilege.
While filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, the patients waive doctor-patient privilege. The reason behind this that the information disclosure suggests that the health of the patient was compromised while under the physician’s care.
Filing Lawsuit for Breach of Confidentiality
Consulting a medical malpractice lawyer is essential if you wish to file a lawsuit against the health care provider. The attorney would help you avoid the mistakes and ensure that the necessary information is gained for the successful claim. While pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit, the attorney would assist you with the following
- Obtaining Medical Records: For filing a lawsuit, you would need to sign a release form to share information with lawyers. You can seek out compensatory damages and emotional sufferings.
- Cap on Damages: There is a cap on the amount of damage that you can receive for suffering and pain in this type of lawsuit.
Apart from these, the lawyer can help you obtain the certificate of qualified expert that needs to be filed in a period of 90 days of filing claim.