"Medical Confidentiality and Legal Privilege" examines the ethical obligations binding a doctor to a patient's confidences and asks whether these should be recognized in the courtroom. English law has been increasingly responsive to the need to respect patient confidentiality. In practice, this has involved the prohibition of unauthorized disclosure of medical records in national newspapers and the provision of special protection for data stored on computers. But in the courtroom the law has been unwilling to protect patient confidences. For example, a patient cannot prevent a doctor from testifying even if the doctor has promised not to divulge medical information under any circumstances. Jean V. McHale examines individual cases to analyze whether the denial in law of the doctor-patient privilege is consistent with the protection of other confidential relationships. She discusses the nature of medical information and confidentiality and considers the practical issues and questions which are raised by confidentiality.

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