What to do about a breach of patient confidentiality?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do about a breach of patient confidentiality?

I am 20 years old and I was at the hospital today for kidney pain. I gave them my history, including that I had recently had an abortion therefore I would probably still have a positive pregnancy test so they needed to do an ultrasound. I told the nurse that was taking the information that my aunt who I lived with couldn’t know anything about it but I don’t think she put a note in the computer or anything. While I was at the hospital, they let my aunt in the room without my permission but I did not kick her out because I thought they would ask her to leave before discussing medical information. However, the doctor walked right in and said in front of my aunt that my pregnancy test was positive because of the medical abortion being recent.

Asked on December 16, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Connecticut

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, this is one of the sticky situations. HIPAA is an interesting and complicated area of law. You gave your aunt technnical permission to know some medical information by allowing her to stay in the room when the doctor walked in and in general being there. The nurse could be held liable but certainly not the doctor. If you feel this strongly about it, you will need to consult an attorney who handles medical privacy laws and see if this is something that would be worthwhile pursuing.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption