37. Patient confidentiality.

The relationship of doctor and patient is one to which confidence attaches as a necessary or traditional incident1 in order to ensure that patients make frank disclosure when seeking diagnosis and treatment2. This general rule is central to trust between all medical professionals and their patients3 and information relating to a patient may only be disclosed with the patient's consent4. However this is not an absolute duty and patient information may be disclosed without the patient's consent where disclosure is required by law