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August 6, 1898


JAMA. 1898;XXXI(6):309-310. doi:10.1001/jama.1898.02450060047009

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The question of medical confidences is a perennial one, and will be till some uniform regulation or understanding is reached in regard to it. It is, moreover, not a subject that can be left exclusively to the ethical sense of our profession; it has its legal bearings entirely apart from what we may or may not consider our individual duty in regard to it, and the question may arise at any time whether as physicians we shall be compelled to state for the benefit of lawyers and their employers what we may have received as confidential communications from our own clients. As the case usually stands, and in most parts of our country, the legal has a decided advantage over the medical profession. In a few States, it is true, there are rigid statutes in this regard, that would even quench the gossip that thoughtless men have sometimes been guilty

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