Delhi HC to Govt: Patient’s medical condition must be ‘confidential’

Delhi HC to Govt: Patient’s medical condition must be ‘confidential’

According to Justice Rajiv Shakdher, disclosing the medical conditions of a patient suffering from diseases like AIDS, leads to scaring off people and the patients be treated as ‘lepers’ as there is ‘a stigma attached to the ailment.’

Delhi High Court, on Thurday, ordered the Central and city government to issue circulars to all the hospitals to maintain every patient’s medical status confidentially.

The court also directed the governments to seek compliance reports from the hospitals under their jurisdiction to ensure they adhere to the directive.

According to Justice Rajiv Shakdher, disclosing the medical conditions of a patient suffering from diseases like AIDS, leads to scaring off people and the patients be treated as ‘lepers’ as there is ‘a stigma attached to the ailment.’

The court issued the direction and made the observations while hearing the plea of a woman suffering from HIV, whose medical status was publicly displayed on her bed when she was admitted in Guru Teg Bahadur hospital in 2011.

A placard had been displayed above her bed, declaring her medical status as “Sero Positive Bio Hazard”, the plea filed through advocate Ambalika Roy said.

The plea also said that such conduct “breached the privacy and confidentiality of the petitioner, which was required to be maintained in relation to her medical condition”.

The court had earlier directed the government to sit with the petitioner and other stakeholders, including Medical Council of India, and frame guidelines regarding non- disclosure of medical status of patients.

The government today told the court that process of framing the guidelines was underway as they had received suggestions very late from the petitioner.

The court, thereafter, listed the matter for further hearing on August 19.

Source: Zee News

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