Stories about patient confidentiality

Is social media blurring the line of ethics between a doctor and a patient?

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s tweets that claimed a doctor sent her sister a Facebook friend request a day after treating her, and called his behaviour ‘harassment’, have been met with a bag of mixed reactions. Some commended her for taking up this issue, while others criticised her choice of words and for using her celebrity status for a personal cause. Since she has acknowledged that her choice of words was not appropriate, the focus should thus be shifted to the real problem, which is not about a lack of code of ethics. Chinoy’s story blaringly sounds the alarm of an issue which has been ignored for far ...

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Dengue patient: Did we need to know the name?

If you were watching the news a few days ago, you probably saw that a patient in Lahore was diagnosed with dengue fever. I wish that is all you knew. Unfortunately the media went out of its way to tell you the ethnicity, travel history, local address and even the name of the patient! Patients have a fundamental right to privacy. They have a right to seek medical attention without running the risk of making their most personal issues public. In the case of some infectious diseases, the individual’s right to privacy is partially offset by the public’s right to safety. Certain disease ...

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