Table of contents:

What is medical confidentiality and how to punish for violation of it
What is medical confidentiality and how to punish for violation of it

The doctor has no right to tell about your diagnosis even to your relatives. But there are exceptions.

What is medical confidentiality and how to punish for violation of it
What is medical confidentiality and how to punish for violation of it

What is medical confidentiality

In principle, everything is clear from the name. This is some information that doctors should not disclose. However, this applies not only to doctors, but also to other hospital staff, as well as everyone who learned this information in the line of duty.

Secret data include Federal Law of 21.11.2011 N 323-FZ:

  • Diagnosis and health status of the patient.
  • The very fact of contacting a medical institution.
  • Other information obtained during examination and treatment.

This information can only be shared with someone with the patient's written consent. If he is incapacitated or under 15 years of age, the document is signed by his legal representatives. From the age of 15, a child can make decisions related to his health by Federal Law of 21.11.2011 N 323-FZ. Therefore, it is not allowed to communicate anything to the parents without his consent.

Data on the patient's health without his permission cannot be used also for teaching or for scientific publications. Moreover, it is forbidden to divulge them even after his death.

That is, the nurse of the polyclinic should not, for example, call a friend and report that she saw her boyfriend standing at the venereologist's office. Perhaps from a moral point of view, this seems logical. But the law is above morality. At first glance, quite harmless situations will also be considered violations. For example, when a grandmother calls the doctor to find out about the state of health of her grandson, and he tells her everything. Unless the parents have signed written consent, this is prohibited.

All these usual (but terrible) things, when a doctor examines a patient in the presence of an outsider, discusses the diagnosis of a previous visitor with the nurse, tells the class teacher about the diseases of schoolchildren after a medical examination - this is a violation of the law.

When medical secrets can be divulged

We sorted out the written consent from the patient himself. But there are times when information can be shared without permission:

  • If urgent medical intervention is required, and the person's condition does not allow him to give consent.
  • If there is a risk of spreading infectious diseases, mass poisoning and injuries.
  • At the request of law enforcement agencies.
  • If a person must undergo drug addiction treatment as an administrative penalty. The data is needed to control the execution.
  • If a minor is sick with drug addiction. It is allowed to tell the parents that he was sent for a medical examination or that he received drug treatment.
  • If there is a suspicion that the patient is a victim of a crime. The doctor can share information with law enforcement agencies.
  • If a medical examination is carried out at the request of military commissariats and other institutions associated with military and service equivalent to it.
  • When investigating an accident at work or the occurrence of an occupational disease.
  • When exchanging data between medical institutions.
  • During inspections related to the social insurance system and compulsory medical insurance.

In addition, a spouse or a close relative can find out about the cause of death and the diagnosis of the patient when he receives the corresponding conclusion of the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 N 323-FZ.

How to prove the fact of disclosing medical secrets

If you are hurt, those responsible can be held accountable. But before that, you need to collect evidence of violation of your rights. The set is standard here: video recordings, audio recordings, testimony.

Attach also data that confirms the damage received from the disclosure of secrets. For example, a recording of a conversation with your boss who insists that you write a letter of resignation of your own free will. Especially if in it he indicates the reason: he received a call from the hospital and was told about your diagnosis.

What is the responsibility for the disclosure of medical confidentiality

Cases when medical personnel are held accountable for disclosing classified data are not very high-profile, but they do exist. For example, in Perm a doctor was dismissed. The reason for the dismissal of a doctor was the disclosure of a secret protected by law for the fact that she transferred information about patients to third parties. And in Syktyvkar, a nurse became In Syktyvkar, a nurse will appear before a court for divulging medical secrets as a defendant in a criminal case for disclosing a diagnosis.

It is clear from the examples that responsibility is different.

  • Disciplinary. An overly talkative hospital employee may be reprimanded or fired.
  • Civil law. If the disclosure of medical secrets caused moral harm to the patient, he may demand monetary compensation.
  • Administrative. Hospital employees who disclosed medical secrets are punished by the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation Article 13.14. Disclosure of information with limited access with a fine of 4 to 5 thousand rubles.
  • Criminal. For the disclosure of medical secrets, the Criminal Code provides for the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation Article 137. Violation of the inviolability of private life, several types of punishment:
    • a fine of 100-300 thousand rubles or in the amount of the wages or other income of the convicted person for a period from one to two years;
    • deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for a period of two to five years;
    • forced labor for up to four years;
    • arrest for up to six months;
    • imprisonment for up to four years.

The severity of the punishment depends on the severity of the consequences that the patient faced due to the disclosure of medical secrets, as well as the goals and motives of the hospital employee. For example, criminal liability is possible if, due to a violation of the rules by the doctor, the patient commits suicide. Or the doctor sold the information so that the person could be defamed. According to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, the disclosure of medical secrets is not punished so often.

How to get justice

A patient who will have enough reprimand for the offender or his dismissal should contact the head doctor of the clinic. To do this, you need to send a written claim. Better to print two copies and keep the second one with a note that it was accepted. The paper will be needed in the event of a trial as evidence that the victim was trying to resolve the issue peacefully.

It is worth starting with the head physician even if the victim wants to compensate for moral damage. Then, in a written claim, it is necessary to note what suffering he experienced, and evaluate them in material terms. If the medical facility is silent, the patient can file a claim in court. In response, the head physician has Federal Law of 02.05.2006 N 59-FZ (as amended on 27.12.2018) "On the procedure for considering appeals from citizens of the Russian Federation" for 30 days.

When the administration covers up the violator, or the head physician himself revealed the medical secret, or the patient wants to bring the clinic employee to administrative responsibility, it is necessary to apply to the prosecutor's office with a statement. It must contain:

  • the name of the prosecutor's office to which the complaint is sent;
  • Full name, address of registration at the place of residence, contacts of the victim;
  • date and signature.

If the patient has suffered greatly as a result of someone else's talkativeness and is thirsty for blood, you need to contact the Investigative Committee. A criminal case will be opened there, if there are grounds for this.

What to remember

  • The hospital employee is prohibited from disclosing information even about the very fact of contacting the institution, not to mention the diagnosis and treatment.
  • There are exceptions. But the cases that fall under them are not so common.
  • It is forbidden to tell your relatives about your illnesses.
  • Children are also protected by medical secrecy laws. Until the age of 15, parents or legal guardians can receive information about their illnesses, after that no one can receive information about their illnesses.
  • If your rights are violated, contact the head physician, the court, the prosecutor's office or the Investigative Committee.