Confidentiality is one of the cornerstones of the physician-patient relationship. Patients expect that their health care will be kept confidential, and the physician's legal and ethical responsibilities mandate this. Nevertheless, important, countervailing societal interests require that confidentiality be sacrificed under some circumstances. Patients, too, have legitimate access to their health care information. Familiarity with legal and ethical aspects of confidentiality will facilitate patient care and help protect the physician against allegations of breach of the patient's confidentiality.
Weiner BA, Wettstein RM. Confidentiality of Patient-Related Information. Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(8):1032-1036. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090200038018