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Article
April 14, 1894

WHAT ARE PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATIONS?

JAMA. 1894;XXII(15):556. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02420940032008

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Abstract

At common law, confidential communications made by a patient to a physician are not privileged. By statute they are, however, rendered otherwise in most of the States. In Indiana, for example, physicians are prohibited from testifying as to matter communicated to them, as such, by patients, in the course of their professional business, or advice given in such cases. With this for a basis, the Supreme Court of Indiana has, in the case of Springer v. Byram, decided Feb. 15, 1894, examined quite a number of authorities and summarized the law as follows: The privilege may attach, notwithstanding the presence of third persons in the sick-room, where the consultation is had. If the attending physician calls in another physician for consultation, the communications made to the latter are privileged. Where there are two physicians, the patient does not, by calling one of his physicians as a witness, waive his privilege

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