Introduction:

Personal medical information may be disclosed to others after patient consent is obtained
In specific cases medical information may be disclosed without patient consent
For more information, see Section 20 of the Patients' Rights Law

The Patient's Rights Law allows attending care providers and medical facilities to disclose a patient's medical information to others.

  • Information may be disclosed with patient consent, and in certain circumstances even without patient consent.

Disclosure of Information with Patient Consent

  • Care providers and medical facilities are permitted to disclose medical information to others if the patient has consented to such disclosure.
  • This consent may be explicit or implicit, verbal, written, or expressed through actions.
Example
If a patient arrives to a doctor's visit with a family member, it can be concluded that this is an expression of the patient's consent that the information revealed during the meeting may be disclosed to that family member.

Disclosure of Information without Patient Consent

  • Medical information may be disclosed to others without patient consent in the following cases:
  • When there is a legal obligation (by law, regulation, or reasoned court order) to disclose the medical information.
Example
A number of contagious diseases must be reported to the Ministry of Health.
Example
A physician who diagnoses a patient over the age of 16 with a condition that the physician thinks is liable to cause the patient to put him/herself or others in danger while driving must report the condition to the Medical Institute for Road Safety (for more information see Ministry of Health Director Circular 25/09).
  • When disclosure of information is to another care provider for purposes of treating the same patient.
  • If an ethics committee has approved disclosure of the information after determining that it is vital to protecting the health of others or the public. The following are two cases in which an ethics committee is permitted to make such a decision and approve disclosure of information to others:
    1. In a case where someone with HIV/AIDS is having unprotected sexual relations or is not informing their partner about the disease. For more information, see: Maintaining Medical Confidentiality for Those with HIV/AIDS.
    2. In the case of tuberculosis patients.
  • If an ethics committee approved disclosure of the information after determining that it is liable to cause severe damage to the patient's health or well-being if it the patient kept the information to his/herself.
  • When disclosure of the information is to the treating medical facility or to an employee of the treating facility for purposes of processing the information, filing it or reporting on it as required by law.
  • When disclosure of the medical information is intended for publication in a scientific journal, for research purposes or for teaching purposes (in accordance with instructions established by the Ministry of Health), as long as no identifying details of the patient are revealed.

Disclosure and Protection of Information in Mental Health

Laws & Regulations

Credits