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August 11, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(6):362-363. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460320032018

In a recent address the president of one of the branches of the British Medical Association2 discusses the question of medical secrecy, with special reference to the duty of the physician. In some countries, notably in France, and in some of our states, all facts learned professionally are legally incommunicable. This certainly simplifies the legal point of view, but it does not improve the situation in some of its moral aspects. The author of the address referred to prefers the uncertainties of the English law, the judge settling each case according to its merits, leaving the law of slander or libel to deal with cases where actual wrong has been done. This may have its inconveniences, it is true, as a jury may be carried away by its sympathies or misled by clever advocates, but it certainly does leave a larger margin for conduct where questions of moral right