Notes on Privacy and Confidentiality


Privacy and confidentiality are often confused. Privacy is the right to make decisions about personal or private matters and blocking access to private information. The patient voluntarily allows the physician access to private information in the trust that it will not be disclosed to others. This confidentiality must be maintained within the confines of the Law even after death of the patient. Confidentiality falls under the teaching of the prophet about keeping secrets.


In routine hospital practice, many persons have access to confidential information but all are enjoined to keep such information confidential. Confidentiality includes medical records of any form.


The patient should not make unnecessary revelation of negative things about himself or herself.


The physician can not disclose confidential information to a third party without the consent of the patient.


Information can be released without the consent of the patient for purposes of medical care, for criminal investigations, and in the public interest.


Release is not justified without patient consent for the following purposes: education, research, medical audit, employment or insurance.

ŠProfessor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. June, 2008