Health Practitioners have a duty to keep their patients’ confidences. In essence, the practitioners’ duty to maintain confidentiality means that he/she may not disclose any health care information revealed by a patient or discovered by a practitioner in connection with the treatment of a patient. In general, the Code of Ethics states that the information disclosed to a health practitioners during the course of the patient-practitioner relationship is confidential to the utmost degree.
The purpose of a practitioners’ duty to maintain patient confidentiality is to allow the patient to feel free to make a full and complete disclosure of information to the practitioners. This is done with the knowledge that the practitioner will protect the confidential nature of the information disclosed.
Full disclosure by a patient enables the practitioner to diagnose conditions skillfully and to treat the patient competently. In return for the patient’s honesty, the practitioner generally should not reveal confidential communications or information without the patient’s express consent unless required to disclose the information by law.