Between "Transparent Room" and "Sealed Room:" Professional Confidentiality and Therapeutic Judgement
Yuval Melamed, Ami Levy, Henry Szor
Abarbanel Mental Health Center, Bat Yam and Shalvata Mental Health Center, Hod HaSharon
Patients and therapists are concerned with the complexities of protecting medical confidentiality. The traditional perception of protection of patient confidentiality is that the individual's interest in protecting his confidentiality may conflict with the public's need for information, especially in cases involving possible danger. In fulfilling his dual role of representing both the patient and the public, the therapist acts according to existing laws and regulations. We describe 3 cases in which refraining from providing the Army with information in accordance with the law was recognized in retrospect as having caused the patient suffering, and even danger. It is recommended that the therapist's judgement be considered in addition to other legal criteria for determining whether or not to protect patient confidentiality.