Local Doctor Breaches Patient’s Confidentiality By Exposing Deceased HIV+ Patient’s Full Name & IC

Medical confidentiality and privacy laws for health professionals | Slater and Gordon

Sometimes there is a need to ensure that certain information are kept confidential. When we meet certain professionals such as doctors and lawyers, we’d expect that the things that we discuss with them is kept confidential and private as it is part of their job to do so.

However, a local doctor recently found herself in some unwanted spotlight after she had revealed the name of a HIV patient who had passed away despite their wish to keep it private.

As we may very well know, people with HIV often have to keep their statuses confidential as there is a stigma on those living with HIV.

The doctor took to Twitter to pay her respects to the deceased as well as share and spread awareness regarding HIV.

Hiv

The patient was apparently unable to recover after contracting Covid-19 and had confessed to the doctor and asked that the doctor keep his secret.

Instead, after he passed away, she posted pictures of his X-Ray on Twitter with his full name and parts of his IC in full view on the bottom left side of the scan.

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Following the backlash she received for the post, she has since deleted the post as well as her Twitter account, however, before that, she posted an apology.

In her post she writes, “I wanted to ask for forgiveness for my mistake. The tweet was just me expressing my feelings. I didn’t think that it would blow up.”

“Regarding the x-ray, I swear I didn’t notice that his name was on it. Maybe it’s because I had to go through post call, was so tired and out of it. Didn’t notice it had his name.”

“I want to apologise and assure that this will never happen again,” she added.

Apology

Although the post has been deleted, Twitter users managed to get screenshots of it to condemn her actions. “This is quite unethical of you to post and you’re a medical practitioner,” said a user.

Apology

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Meanwhile, the Malaysian AIDS Council also condemned her for her post. In a post on Twitter, they said, “The Malaysian AIDS Council together with KKM stand firm on the policy of medical officers to protect patient’s privacy and confidentiality, especially when it comes to HIV – where the stigma is still very much out there. ”

“The action of uploading a patient’s private medical documents like the above X-ray with the name of the patient can be seen is a clear misconduct. We condemn this sort of irresponsible behaviour among the medical practitioners,” they added.

They concluded their statement with, “We at the Council will extend this to the right authority to take a suitable action. We hope this will never happen again in the future.”