Confidentiality Between Plastic Surgeon and Patients?
- Asked by Anna Paula in Vienna
- 3 years ago
Is there such a thing as a confidentiality clause between doctor and patient? What about the doctors´staff?
I thank you very much for your answers.
Patient Doctor Confidentiality
I am not quite sure what caused you to ask this question but it is obvious you are bothered by it.
The confidentiality between patient and doctor precedes that of Christianity. To quote from the 4th Century BC HIPPOCRATIC OATH that doctors have been taking for centuries: "...All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal...."
In addition to the noble sentiments found in the Oath all of us took, there are ample laws to back it up. I do not know much about Austrian law but English and French law are very strict in these matters.
Dr. P. Aldea
Patient confidentiality is protected in the United States. Only people with a "need to know" can be given a patient's medical information. Of course what happens once a patient leaves a medical office can not always be controlled, especially here in Beverly Hills.
I do not know about Vienna but in the United States and in California in particular there are state and federal laws that govern doctor patient confidentiality and patient privacy. All the police shows on television show how the psychiatrist cannot release information about his/her patient. In California there is a state law that doctor's cannot post pictures of patients, such as before and after photos, in any advertisement or web page capacity without signed patient consent. Lastly, to my knowledge, malpractice insurance does not cover breaches of patient confidentiality. So if a plastic surgeon does this here and is sued he/she is on their own.
Letting it slip that someone has had surgery in a social setting when the recipient has kept it a secret can be a major faux pas. I have had patients who initially did not want their photo used but after recovery from surgery decided they did want it posted so friends could look at it. A few other patients initially decided use of the photos were okay but some time later changed their minds. I have no problem complying with their wishes. A couple once met me in a social setting. When asked by a friend which one was my patient I deferred in respect of patient confidentiality. My answer was, "Which one do you think is my patient?"
Confidentiality between patients and their plastic surgeons
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.