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Old 10-17-2011
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Medicolegal and Ethics Another doctor asking you about your patient successful treatment!

A 26-year-old woman is being treated for type II diabetes. Treatment includes monitoring of glucose levels, dietary change, an exercise regimen, and a new diabetes drug. Over the past year, this treatment has successfully controlled her diabetes and the patient is happy with the outcome. One day you receive a phone call from another physician. The physician identifies herself as the physician of the diabetic patientís brother. The brother also is suffering from type II diabetes. In contrast with his sister, his diabetes is uncontrolled. The brotherís physician says that he heard that the sister was on a treatment regimen that was working and was calling to discuss the details of the treatment so that he could recommend it to the brother. At this point, what action should the physician take?

A. Offer to meet face-to-face with the brotherís physician to discuss the sisterís treatment regimen
B. Offer to send a letter to the physician who called, detailing the treatment plan for the sister
C. Offer to send the physician literature provided by the pharmacology company about the benefits and risks of this new drug
D. Provide the details of the sisterís treatment over the phone to the physician who called
E. Refuse to provide any information to the brotherís physician without the sisterís explicit permission
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2011
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E. Refuse to provide any information to the brotherís physician without the sisterís explicit permission
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Old 10-17-2011
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E............................
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Old 10-17-2011
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I go for E.
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Old 10-17-2011
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Correct Answer Answer

The correct answer is E. Confidentiality is absolute. No information may be shared unless the explicit approval of the patient is obtained first (choices A, B, and C). Strictly speaking, the physician should not even confirm that the sister mentioned here is his patient.
Even with the sisterís permission, giving information about a patient to someone who calls on the phone is a practice to avoid (choice D). The physician cannot be sure of the identity of the caller and may end up, without knowing it, giving confidential information to an inappropriate party
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