Brand
Get Your FREE Case Review 24 Hours A Day
To protect your safety during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, we offer telephone and video conferences, in addition to face-to-face meetings. Please contact our office today to set up a remote consultation.
Arrow
Mesothelioma
& Asbestos
Mesothelioma
& Asbestos

Learn more about mesothelioma, symptoms & treatment, frequently asked questions and more.
Arrow
Mesothelioma
& Asbestos
Mesothelioma
& Asbestos

Learn more about mesothelioma, symptoms & treatment, frequently asked questions and more.
Arrow
Mass Torts, Defective Drugs & Products
Mass Torts, Defective Drugs & Products
We help victims of dangerous drugs (Actos, Mirena, Lipitor, etc.) and faulty devices (hip implants, pacemakers, etc.)
Arrow
Mass Torts, Defective Drugs & Products
Mass Torts, Defective Drugs & Products
We help victims of dangerous drugs (Actos, Mirena, Lipitor, etc.) and faulty devices (hip implants, pacemakers, etc.)
Arrow
Personal Injury &
Workers' Compensation
Personal Injury &
Workers' Compensation

We help clients who need assistance with work-related injuries linked to asbestos and other serious problems.
Arrow
Personal Injury &
Workers' Compensation
Personal Injury &
Workers' Compensation

We help clients who need assistance with work-related injuries linked to asbestos and other serious problems.

How doctor-patient privilege affects wrongful death claims

| Mar 22, 2018 | Wrongful Death |

There’s a fairly sacred relationship between doctors and patients. In order for doctors to treat patients properly, patients have to feel safe telling their doctors things they wouldn’t tell anyone else — even their family members.

Unfortunately, if something goes wrong with a patient’s medical care and the patient dies, the doctor may conveniently try to hide behind that sacred trust, or doctor-patient confidentiality. This is especially true if the family of the deceased tries to pursue a wrongful death claim.

This always brings up the issue in court of exactly who has the right to waive the patient’s right to privacy when the patient is deceased. Most people are surprised to find out that the privilege between doctors and their patients doesn’t just go away when the patient dies — even if the doctor is accused of causing that death through negligence.

Fortunately, the privilege isn’t absolute. The doctor can only try to keep private any information that isn’t already commonly known through other available sources. The court also has the right to order a doctor to produce any medical records needed for evidence in a wrongful death trial.

In addition, the deceased’s representative — which could be a spouse, parent, child or the person who is in control of the deceased’s estate — can usually waive the privilege on the deceased’s behalf. Unfortunately, you may not get a hospital or doctor’s office to see it that way until you’ve actually taken the step of looking into litigation. That means that you may have trouble getting the deceased’s medical records if you just want to examine them because you suspect negligence caused his or her death.

Instead, you may have to get an attorney to help you unlock the records. Then, you and your attorney can examine the records together to see if there really was negligence involved.

While it isn’t always that hard, you should be aware that medical professionals do regard a patient’s right to privacy very seriously — and that regard certainly isn’t lessened when there is potential medical malpractice involved.

Source: FindLaw, “Wrongful Death Cases: Physician-Patient Privilege,” accessed March 16, 2018

Mesothelioma Lawyers and Personal Injury Attorneys

Get a Free Case Review!

Archives

FindLaw Network

Why Choose The Gori Law Firm?

Experience

With over 100 years of combined legal experience, we guide our clients through the litigation process by addressing questions and concerns and about the outcome every step of the way. Read More

Results

The team at The Gori Law Firm fights hard for clients, working to get the compensation and the settlement they deserve, obtaining over $3 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Read More

Team Approach

We are more than just experienced attorneys: our team is also made up of highly trained paralegals and professionals specially trained to deal with the demands of these complex cases. Read More

Faster Trial Dates
We know that obtaining funds in a timely manner will help cover medical expenses. The Gori Law Firm works quickly to recover funds and secure the earliest possible trial dates on our client's behalf. Read More

Recognition

  • Super Lawyers
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • American Association for Justice
  • ABA Defending Liberty Pursuing Justice
  • Illinois State Bar Association

Get A Free Case Review

Get a Free Case Review Today