Inherent in any medical situation in the United States is the right to doctor-patient privilege, also known as doctor-patient confidentiality. When the patient involved in a case is alive, it is easy to recognize that he or she is the only person who can waive his or her right to this privacy. In a personal injury suit, for instance, if a patient wishes to waive his or her rights in the interests of winning his or her case or of proving doctor malpractice, he or she has the right to do so.
In a wrongful death case, this right to doctor-patient privilege sometimes becomes an area of dispute. With the holder of the right now deceased, discovering who has a right to waive this privilege is paramount. Every situation is different, so it is important that you consult with an attorney before attempting to determine the circumstances of your case alone.
Determining If Doctor-Patient Privilege Can Be Waived
Even after death, the doctor-patient privilege does not automatically disappear. If the decedent had a spouse, child or designated power of attorney after his or her death, this person may be able to waive these rights. If the lawsuit centers on the medical condition of the decedent, then it is paramount that this medical information is included.
You and your family may be reluctant to release these records, but Illinois has rules and regulations to deal with these types of situations, and our lawyers will guide you through the entire process to ensure that your family's privacy and rights are protected while getting you the best compensation possible after your loved one's passing.
Call our office at 312-445-9034 or toll free 888-837-3275 to discuss how our attorneys can help you through the difficult realm of doctor-patient confidentiality.