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Can you trust your doctor to keep your records confidential?

Imagine that you and your therapist travel in the same social circles. You know that there is a patient confidentiality requirement that she has to follow. This is why you were surprised when a mutual friend started asking about situations that you had discussed solely with your therapist. The purpose of the confidentiality standard is to encourage open dialogue between patients and their doctors or therapists.

A violation of the doctor-patient confidentiality relationship is a form of malpractice. This means that you can take legal action against your doctor for sharing personal information without your permission. An attorney in the Portland area with medical malpractice experience can help you pursue a claim against your doctor. Read further for more information on doctor-patient confidentiality.

You shouldn't have to worry

The confidentiality requirement exists so that you do not have to be concerned that your doctor will talk with other people about your condition or treatment. You should feel safe speaking with your doctor about all aspects of your situation so that you can get the best care possible. This is why the doctor can only disclose the details of your care if she or he has your express permission. There are certain exceptions to this rule. For example, your doctor can disclose your treatment to your insurance provider.

Professional duty

Not only is your doctor prohibited from talking about facts that you share with her or him, but your doctor also cannot talk about one's opinions or judgment of your circumstances. Furthermore, the confidentiality rule also applies to all of your medical records. Even if you stop seeing your doctor, she or she cannot share information with anyone else without your approval.

Bringing an action

If your doctor has breached her duty of confidentiality, you might be able to pursue legal action. In general, state law requires that the disclosure is without your permission and it causes you some form of harm. You may have the option to file a malpractice lawsuit. Keep in mind, if you agreed to the release of the information and suffered harm, there was no breach.

Get the advice you need

Medical malpractice is not limited to surgical errors and misdiagnoses. It also extends to the doctor-patient confidentiality requirement. If you have suffered due to a doctor's negligence or lapse in judgment, you might have the option to file a claim.

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Terry Garmey & Associates
482 Congress Street
Suite 402
Portland, ME 04101

Phone: 207-331-3111
Fax: 207-541-9242
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