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A recent trial in England has again brought to the fore a legal question that has been already referred to in recent issues of the Journal (March 31 and April 11), and which is still unsettled by statute in many parts of this country, and apparently also in Great Britain, viz., the obligation of secrecy on the part of the physician as to facts obtained by him in his professional relations with his patients. It seems to be the general opinion that this is obligatory, but there appears to have been a difference of opinion in this instance, an eminent physician stating it as his belief that the violation of confidence was under certain circumstances fully justifiable. The rather sarcastic-comments of the Judge on this opinion probably show the tendency of the legal mind and have been quoted with commendation by the medical press.
There is no question but that
MEDICAL CONFIDENCES AND PROFESSIONAL HONOR.. JAMA. 1896;XXVI(16):783–784. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430680035006