Confidentiality: An Expectation in Health Care

Document Type



Penn Guide to Bioethics (forthcoming, Springer 2008).


The practice of confidentiality has continued in an era of increased, voluntary openness about medical information in everyday life. Indeed the number and variety of state and federal laws mandating confidentiality by medical professionals has increased in the last dozen years. Moreover, personal injury suits alleging breach of confidentiality or invasion of privacy, along with suits asserting evidentiary privileges, reflect the reality that expectations of confidentiality of medical records and relationships remain strong.

Date of Authorship for this Version

January 2008


confidentiality, privacy, expectations of privacy