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    ABSTRACT: This article discusses the reasons for, and the dimensions of, the obligations the law imposes on health care practitioners to keep confidential the information they obtain about their patients in the course of the therapeutic relationship, with particular reference to issues of reproductive health.
    Medicine and law 02/1999; 18(2-3):217-23.
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    ABSTRACT: The law governing confidentiality and informed consent has acquired unique characteristics in the area of reproductive health, as a consequence of both the establishment of a constitutional right to privacy in reproductive health matters and the reaction of those politically and morally opposed to the exercise of that right. The primary issues have involved: 1) the right of minors to receive reproductive health services without parental consent, which remains a political battleground; 2) laws requiring physicians to provide information to pregnant patients that is intended, not to inform them of the risks and benefits of the procedure, but to discourage them from obtaining abortions; 3) coerced and prohibited sterilizations; 4) court-ordered contraception and procedures to protect the fetus; and 5) restrictions on counseling about abortion, contraception, sterilization, and other reproductive health services authorized by state conscience or noncompliance clauses that shield such restrictions from the usual ethical, medical, and legal rules governing informed consent. The last area is of profound significance to the ability of women to make informed decisions about their reproductive health options. In the current economic environment, which fuels mergers and acquisitions involving sectarian and nonsectarian institutions, women are increasingly being put at risk as a result of such restrictions.
    Journal of the American Medical Women's Association (1972) 02/2000; 55(5):257-60.
  • Minnesota medicine 11/1998; 81(10):12-5.

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