NEWS

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November 7, 2007

Patient Confidentiality and the Duty to Warn

You are the doctor. Your patient is being discharged with wounds that need only to have their dressings changed. Medicaid will not pay for a visiting nurse because there is someone in the home capable of providing the care: the patient's sister. Your patient is HIV-positive and homosexual. He has kept both from his family and refuses to tell his sister who will be changing his bandages. Do you, the physician, have a duty to warn the sister of her brother's HIV status and breach confidentiality with your patient?My take here: Patient Confidentiality and the Duty to Warn