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Imagine a world without doctor-patient confidentiality. There would be people that would avoid going to the doctor for fear that their medical condition would be leaked to the public, or that their doctor may tell people connected with their social circle. The potential embarrassment of a medical condition is very real, and without this confidentiality in place, far more people would skip their visits to the doctor. The population simply wouldn’t be as healthy as it could be.

Doctor-patient confidentiality is a critical part of the medical field, and it extends certain rights to you as a patient. You may not think that a breach of this confidentiality constitutes something that could spur litigation, but it can.

This confidentiality clause extends beyond your death. Even if you stop seeing a certain doctor, that doctor is bound to the confidentiality clause. It protects your medical information and records from being released to unauthorized people or parties. Under this confidentiality clause, it allows the patient to feel comfortable with his or her doctor, promoting an atmosphere where they can provide the doctor with any and all relevant information without fear of others finding out.

If your information is leaked to unauthorized parties, or if your doctor fails to properly store and secure your records, then you could file a lawsuit. However, if you consented to the transfer of information to other parties, then no breach occurred. If you have questions about doctor-patient confidentiality and how it relates to your case, then consult with an attorney.

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Gayle Gerling Pettinga

Born and raised in Evansville, Gayle is a respected, experienced lawyer and a valued community leader. She graduated near the top of her class at Indiana University’s prestigious Maurer School of Law. She’s practiced law with one of the largest firms in Indianapolis as well as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. And that means she knows how big law firms and big companies think and how they operate – and she will put that knowledge to work for you.

Gayle has received numerous awards and honors including Martindale-Hubbell — Peer Review Rated: AV®, American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys in Indiana for Exceptional and Outstanding Client Service, and YWCA Evansville 100 Years, 100 Women Honoree, 2011.

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