Watch a medical television show and the issue of patient confidentiality is likely to come up in at least one episode. Most people understand that the patient’s right to keep their medical history and condition private is a pillar of the health care system.
However, as a health care professional, you know there may be instances when breaking a patient’s confidentiality could act in their best interest. This is a tricky situation, as you do not want to do the patient harm or face legal ramifications. When is it legally permissible to break confidentiality and release patient information?