Protecting Patient Confidentiality:
Protecting patient confidentiality - in the interest of the public as well. A May 5th editorial entitled "Patient safety first, doctor" in the Southland Times (New Zealand) commends a physician for reporting one of his methadone patients, who worked in a nursing home, to her employer. What the editors fail to understand is that inability to guarantee strict adherence to privacy will be a powerful disincentive for those who want and need help for their dependency - and particularly those who are employed in "sensitive" settings. Discouraging those needing help from getting it poses an enormous threat to the entire community.