Letter to the Editors. Professional confidentiality applicable to psychiatrists
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Institute of Civil Law, Faculty of Law, Administration and Economics, University of Wrocław
Submission date: 2015-05-05
Acceptance date: 2015-05-06
Publication date: 2015-06-30
Corresponding author
Elwira Małgorzata Marszałkowska-Krześ   

Uniwersytet Wrocławski: Wydział Prawa, Administracji i Ekonomii, Wydział Prawa,Administracji i Ekonomii, ul. Uniwersytecka 22/124, 50-145 Wrocław, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2015;49(3):641-648
Psychiatrists performing activities under the Mental Health Protection Act who in connection with their performance of such activities become aware of information that, if kept confidential, can constitute a threat to the life or health of the patient or other people, are released from the duty to keep such information confidential. In such a case, they have a moral and legal duty to disclose such information to law enforcement authorities and cannot be prosecuted under criminal law for disclosing such confidential information. An attempt to interrogate a physician who files such a report regarding circumstances of which he became aware while performing activities under the Mental Health Protection Act will, however, be illegal. Yet, that leads to disputes and controversies in the medical and legal communities, and, therefore, the issue requires a prompt, uniform interpretation. Due to the expected increase in attempted dyadic deaths (after the Germanwings plane crash,) the problem should be carefully regulated so that psychiatrists know the legal boundaries of dealing with patients – potential suicides.
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