Patients, Doctors, Addictions

Patients, Doctors, Addictions . . . it's a problem:

What Patients Don't Tell Their Doctors - "... Ethical standards also hold that most aspects of the adult patient’s health are private, not to be discussed, even with a loving spouse, without specific permission. This mandate lapses only when patients are confused or comatose and urgent medical decisions have to be made. A clear, imminent danger to the concerned party can also justify a breach. If Tom’s wife was a nondriver and he was planning to take her on a long cross-country road trip, weaving down Interstate 80 with a quart of vodka in his lap, then a lengthy conversation might be in order. Absent this kind of danger, Tom’s business remains his own. And finally, the law is now involved. With the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or Hipaa, the federal government weighed in on patient privacy, to everyone’s great confusion. The convolutions of this legislation are often misinterpreted to affirm that no one can talk to anyone about anyone else’s health without written consent. In fact, most ordinary conversations are legitimate as long as the patient is consulted first and has no objections. Still, the law makes everyone just a little more cautious...." (read more at link above)

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