If medical confidentiality is not observed patients may well be reluctant to disclose information to their doctors or even to seek medical advice. Therefore, argues the author, it is of the utmost importance that doctors strive to protect medical confidentiality, particularly now when it is under threat not only in this country but also overseas. The profession must cease to regard ethical issues to do with confidentiality, and indeed to do with all areas of medical practice, as abstract phenomena requiring no justification. If it does not then it will come under increasing and justified criticism from the community it serves.
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