When is Privileged Communication Not Privileged? The Law and Ethics.
Privileged communication is "an exchange of information between two individuals in a confidential relationship."
I present now three scenarios and look toward some wise visitors to this blog to provide me with some answers from the legal point of view but also a view of the ethics. ..Maurice.
Suppose a patient admits to his physician that he is emotionally upset and is having gastro-intestinal symptoms because he killed his wife and buried her body in the back yard and told others that she was on a vacation. Suppose a client who is about to be questioned by the police, admits to his lawyer that he killed his wife and buried her body in the back yard. Would the professional standard in each case see the admission as privileged communication and allow the professional to withhold the information to the police or courts that the patient or client admitted? Suppose the patient with symptoms and that same story went to his physician who was both a physician and a lawyer licensed to practice and revealed the killing but desired the professional as a lawyer to provide professional legal advice and, if necessary, defend his case. Could privileged communication still be preserved?