Physician & patient privilege

LAW EACH WEEK

What is the Physician and Patient Privilege?

A person authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics cannot in a civil case, without the consent of the patient, be examined as to any advice or treatment given by him or any information which he may have acquired in attending such patient in a professional capacity, which information was necessary to enable him to act in capacity, and which would blacken the reputation of the patient. (Sec. 24 (c), Rule 130)

What is the Purpose of the privilege?

The privilege is intended to facilitate and make safe, full and confidential disclosure by patient to doctor of all facts, circumstances, and symptoms, unrestricted by apprehension of their subsequent and enforced disclosure and publication on the witness stand, to the end that the physician may form a correct opinion, and be enable safety and efficaciously to treat his patient. (Herrera, 1999)

What are the requisites for the applicability of the privilege?

  1. The privilege is claimed in a civil case;
  2. The person against whom the privilege is claimed is one duly authorized to practice medicine, surgery or obstetrics;
  3. Such person acquired the information while he was attending to the patient in his professional capacity;
  4. The information was necessary to enable him to act in that capacity; and
  5. The information is confidential and, if disclosed, would blacken the reputation of the patient.

What is the Information which cannot be disclosed?

  1. Any advice given to the client;
  2. Any treatment given to the client;
  3. Any information acquired in attending such patient provided that the advice, treatment or information was made or acquired in a professional capacity and was necessary to enable him to act in that capacity; and
  4. That the information sought to be disclosed would tend to blacken the reputation of the patient (Sec. 24(c), Rule 130).

Could there be Waiver of Privilege? Yes.