Residents and third party medical professionals routinely share personal information with us as a health care provider. If the confidentiality of this information were not protected, trust in the physician-patient relationship would be diminished and potentially put the resident in harms path.
Creating a trusting environment by respecting resident privacy encourages the resident to seek care and to be as honest as possible during residency and treatment. It may also increase the resident’s willingness to seek care. For conditions that might be stigmatizing, such as psychiatric health concerns, confidentiality assures that private information will not be disclosed to family or employers without their consent.
Family Members & Confidentiality
While there may be cases where the provider (medical or behavioral) feels naturally inclined to share information, such as responding to an inquiring spouse, the requirements for making an exception to confidentiality may not be met. If there is not explicit permission from the resident or responsible party to share information with a family member, it is generally not ethically justifiable to do so.