Orthopaedic Ethics 7: Confidentiality

Confidentiality refers to limits placed on releasing information disclosed by a person within the patient-physician relationship. It is a long-standing, timehonored tradition in medicine that encompasses standards from the Hippocratic Oath to professional codes to HIPAA regulations. Upholding confidentiality shows respect for patients. It encourages them to seek medical care and divulge sensitive information to enable appropriate medical treatment.

Module content created by 
Joan Krajca-Radcliffe, MD of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Learning objectives for this Activity:

Be aware of the importance of maintaining confidentiality and of the difficulties incurred in the clinic and hospital environments

Identify the situations where overriding confidentiality is justified

Be aware of the physician’s legal and ethical responsibilities in these situations

Be aware of your state’s legal requirements for reporting to authorities, partner notification, and warning or protecting those at risk

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