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Can Fam Physician. 1989 Apr;35:921-6.

The history of confidentiality in medicine: the physician-patient relationship.


The author of this article reviews the history of the confidentiality of medical information relating to patients from its roots in the Hippocratic Oath to the current codes of medical ethics. There has been an important shift in the basis for the demand for confidentiality, from a physician-based commitment to a professional ideal that will improve the physician-patient relationship and thus the physician's therapeutic effectiveness, and replace it with a patientbased right arising from individual autonomy instead of a Hippocratic paternalistic privilege.

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