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Medical News & Perspectives
January 28, 1998

Opposition to Law Officers Having Unfettered Access to Medical Records

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JAMA. 1998;279(4):257-259. doi:10.1001/jama.279.4.257

All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or outside of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.—Hippocratic Oath

UNLIKE PHYSICIANS, many of the great and increasing number of people who now have access to medical records have taken no oath to protect either the privacy or the well-being of patients. Reports of egregious misuse of patient information—and concern over the potential for even greater abuse made possible by the nation's move toward computerized records—has led Congress to consider legislation to protect the confidentiality of patient records.

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