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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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Medical malpractice anyone? Here are the basics: I was

Customer Question

medical malpractice anyone? Here are the basics: I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and after surgery, I had to close my business and was covered by SSDI. It turns out that the gynecological oncologist who treated me (I had to go out of state for chemo) had performed prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomies on my mother AND my two sisters. They all tested positive for the BRCA gene through the gyn-onc's office. MY family members all failed to contact me with any of this information even though they shared it amongst themselves. Doesn't the gyn-onc have a duty to warn in regards ***** *****? He was quite (obviously) familliar with my family and their genetic history. And yes, I later tested positive for the BRCA gene as well. Do I have a case here?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you today. Please give me a few minutes to write a response and identify any additional resources for you.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry to learn of this situation. Unfortunately, the physician is actually under a legal and ethical obligation not to share personal healthcare information of his other patients with anyone else.

So if your physician had shared this information with you he could have been held liable to your other family members for violation of state and federal law.

Again, I am very sorry to learn of the situation, and I do wish I had a different answer for you on this issue - but the current law favors patient confidentiality over sharing healthcare information among patients even if it promotes greater access to care.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What about the Tarasoff ruling then? This actually WAS a life or death question. What about a civil suit against my family? At best I lost my livelihood and my income, and because of the nature of ovarian cancer I could easily have died from it.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Tarasoff deals with a patient threatening to go and kill another person - it does not deal with divulging health care information.

You can always try finding a local lawyer that would accept your case to try to argue for an extension of existing law (remember, we can only offer "general legal information" on this forum, we do not offer formal legal advice or instruction), but based only on what you are posting here, understanding the current legal framework, and having an idea of what the current prevailing public intent is (privacy), I don't see a claim.