There are a few areas that the law recognizes communication as privileged (i.e. confidential). It is important that you know, as a patient, that your communication with your doctor is confidential. Washington state recognizes this right through its laws.
Privilege exists so that a level of trust can exist between a patient and physician. It is important that you can be honest about your medical condition with your doctor so you can recieve the best care possible. It is also important that you know that the privilege belongs to you. Your doctor cannot waive that privilege without YOUR permission. This right extends to any communication between you and your doctor in the course of your treatment. This can easily include communication over the phone, communication in the doctor’s office, and communication in the doctor’s examination room.
We can place a lot of trust in our doctors. And this is necessary to do. But it is also important that you and your doctor know that your communication is confidential. This ensures that trust can continue between you and your doctors.