Yet, as in other jurisdictions, the Code does leave room for doctors to exercise therapeutic privilege
. A healthcare institution must lay out a clear process and guidelines under which their doctors may exercise this discretion.
The therapeutic privilege
enables doctor to withhold information.
Not all physicians agreed with that practice, labeled therapeutic privilege
. But after Canterbury, such paternalism was no longer accept able (with extremely rare exceptions).
Not all physicians agreed with that practice, which was labeled therapeutic privilege
. But after Canterbury, such paternalism was no longer acceptable (with extremely rare exceptions).
* Therapeutic privilege
: If a doctor believes that the patient's emotional and physical condition could be adversely affected by full disclosure of the treatment risks, disclosure may be legally withheld.
often is cited in the literature but should be an infrequently used exception to informed consent.
But they hid the news from Gary by exercising their right to "therapeutic privilege
" - which permits doctors not to tell a patient about his illness if they decide it is in his best interests.
We physicians are too quick to see our obligations in the negative, to see our moral obligation as "do no harm." This is not to say that the paternalistic notion of "therapeutic privilege
" is not deserving of consideration whenever one talks with a patient.
There would be four exceptions: (1) where the patient has expressly asked not to be given information; (2) emergency treatment; (3) where the provision of information would cause serious physical or mental harm to the patient (the therapeutic privilege
); and (4) where the risks are obvious to a reasonable person, and statute does not require that the information be given.
This is because of therapeutic privilege
, the legal doctrine that permits physicians to withhold information from patients or their proxies if they reasonably believe it would not be in the patient's best interests to receive it, or if they believe such information could interfere with the patient's treatment or cure.
This rule of disclosure has one exception, the therapeutic privilege
, in which the physician withholds information out of concern that it would harm the patient.
This is the therapeutic privilege
that can be traced back to Hippocratic writings and was firmly established by Percival in his Medical Ethics of 1803.