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patient hospitalized with aids

Apr 2, 1998

the wife of a patient hospitalized eith aids asks you

directly, " does my husband have aids?" explain how you

would respond to ther and why you decided on this course of action.

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. This is a very complicated question, since there are several factors that can affect the answer.

Depending on where the patient lives, there are laws that may affect the families right to know a patients health information. Since laws vary from place to place, you would have to contact your local health department to determine what laws apply in your local area. Confidentiality laws address who has (and who does not have) the right to know a patients medical information.

In addition, the patient plays a key role in who has (and who does not have) access to their medical information. If the patient requests that you do not discuss their medical information with their spouse, family members, or other people, you should follow their request (unless the law specifically states otherwise). Every patient has a right to their privacy, and it is important that you respect the patients requests. It is important to let the patient decide what you say, and what you do not say, to their family members.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

A personal account: HIV -
Thanks to Dr. Rick

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