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August 1994

Confidentiality of Patient-Related Information

Author Affiliations

From Weiner & Eglit Ltd, Highland Park, Ill (Ms Weiner); the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Ill (Ms Weiner); and the Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh (Pa) School of Medicine, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (Dr Wettstein).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1994;112(8):1032-1036. doi:10.1001/archopht.1994.01090200038018

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.