Is it considered medical malpractice that my doctor told my step grandfather in law results of my lab testing?I am going through a divorce and on the stand, my husband's step- grandfather testified...

Is it considered medical malpractice that my doctor told my step grandfather in law results of my lab testing?

I am going through a divorce and on the stand, my husband's step- grandfather testified that my doctor told him about my medical history and results of testing done. He used to be a patient of his and said the doctor told him this in confidence.  I have never given permission for him to release any information about me.

Asked on by ldelamar

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bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I doubt that this breach of confidence would be considered in any way related to malpractice, but it certainly would be considered a major HIPAA violation. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in part guarantees the confidential privacy and security of health data. Doctors are bound by law not to disclose private information about their patients without written approval. Since you say that no permission was given, your doctor violated the HIPAA act, and he could face immediate dismissal from employment and possibly face a suspension of his license. I have been told by someone who knows the HIPAA law that this is a "major, major violation." Whether you can receive some kind of financial judgment (by suing) is a matter for you to discuss with an attorney, but I am told that this would be unlikely.

rienzi's profile pic

rienzi | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

That seems odd that your "medical history" would be brought into court by a step grandfather-in-law? Aside from the hearsay and possible relevancy problems, I can't imagine bringing something like that in through a --grandfather? But then, if you were in court represented by counsel why are you asking this question here? Your lawyer would be the person to ask.

But, to your question. As with any negligence claim you have 4 elements: a duty, a breach of that duty, causation and damages. What are your damages? What is your compensable injury? If you don't have any then you have no claim. And that assumes you can establish the other three elements which are in and of themselves a steep burden.

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