Irish Medical Organisation

Doctor - Patient Confidentiality - Role of the Doctor Series - Apr 2011



Confidentiality is central to trust in the doctor-patient relationship. Doctors diagnose and treat illness based on information given to them by the patient in confidence.

The Doctor-Patient Confidentiality paper (as part of the IMO’s Role of the Doctor Series) explores this fundamental principle of medical ethics and the doctor’s obligations to safeguard confidentiality when communicating with families, carers or colleagues. The paper gives guidance on patient confidentiality in relation to conflicting professional, legal and ethical obligations and in relation to the use of Information and Communication Technology (e-health).

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