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Doctor / Patient Confidentiality and Meth Usage

exgirlfriend -
   My friend needs to go in & have his heart checked. He is a meth user and he called me today and said he is having chest pains and has been having them off & on for the past two days. I think he needs to get checked out. I think he is scared to go cuz he thinks the dr will turn him in. They can't can they? Well I mean unless the dr suspects they will hurt themselves or someone else. Other then that, they can't tell anyone can they?

Replies

amom -
   I do not believe a Doctor can turn someone in who confesses to drug use. Your friend needs to seek help immediately before it is too late. Keep us posted. God bless.

Scared Angel -
   No. The doctor will NOT turn him in. Please have him go and see the doctor. When I was on meth I went to emergency while I was going through meth induced psychosis. I told them I was on meth. They helped me. It's not their job to turn you in, it's their job to help you with your health. If they don't know what you were using, they can't help you make the right diagnosis. Aloha, Scared Angel

Vicky - 
   Amom n Scared Angel are right...a doctor cannot turn you in unless subpoenaed by a judge, or unless they believe harm to oneself or another is imminent. Lots of docs are reluctant to do it then either because of the liability issues. But first priority has to be getting help regardless. Good luck to you both.

lory -
   There are very strict guidelines to protect patient confidentiality. There was an act passed fairly recently--HIPA--that guards against disclosing patient information. There are fines, penalties, and the like if ANYONE who has no business knowing finds out patient information. From hospitals to schools, confidentiality in my experience as a student nurse is guarded very, very carefully.


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