Fiduciary Duty Of Doctor And Patient

Authored by , LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

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What Is A Fiduciary Duty?

A fiduciary  duty is a legal relationship between at least two parties.  The "fiduciary" is the party the duty is imposed on.  The "principal" is the party that is owed the duty.  

A fiduciary duty requires the fiduciary to act with all of the following: 

What Are A Doctor's Fiduciary Duties Toward A Patient?

A doctor has a fiduciary duty of confidentiality towards a patient.  This is to encourage disclosure to the doctor of facts which may help in diagnosis or treatment but which may be embarassing or harmful to the patient if released to others.  

This fiduciary duty includes a duty not to disclose any medical information received in connection with treatment.  If medical information is disclosed without the client's prior approval (usually in the form of a waiver), the client may bring a lawsuit against the doctor for breaching their fiduciary duty.   

Do I Need To Consult An Attorney About Fiduciary Duties?

Whether a doctor improperly disclosed confidential information about a client, thereby breaching their fiduciary duty, is not always clear.  An attorney can help determine if you are entitled to recover for wrongful disclosure of your confidential medical information.

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Last Modified: 03-18-2014 02:08 PM PDT

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