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This book examines the ethical obligations binding a doctor to her patient's confidences and asks Should those ethical obligations be recognised in the courtroom?' Increasingly, English law has shown a responsiveness to the need to accord respect to patient confidentiality.
In practice this has involved the prohibition of unauthorised disclosure of medical records in national newspapers and the provision of special protection for data stored on computer. In one area, however, the law has been unwilling to protect patient confidences - the courtroom.
A patient cannot stop her doctor from testifying even though the doctor has promised not to divulge medical information under any circumstances. Jean V. McHale examines cases to see whether the denial in law of the doctor-patient privilege is consistent with the protection of other confidential relationships. She discusses the nature of medical information and confidentiality and she considers the practical issues and questions which are raised by confidentiality.