Confidentiality appears to be both common sense and professional convention, as per the Hippocratic Oath, in the sense that "what [a healthcare professional] may see or hear in the course of treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of [patients] ... [they] will keep to [themselves]." This seems to be an obligation not only of those who are called up to take the oath as a matter of course, but *all* healthcare professionals.
On the other hand, there are legal cases that have raised troubling worries here, such as Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California, from our readings, in which a patient confided to their therapist that they intended to kill a third party, leaving the therapist faced with the choice of preserving the their confidentiality or not, in order to warn the patient's intended victim. There are, of course, cases in which we deal not with psychological therapy, but with physical care, in which, say, we learn form a patient, in the course of an unrelated exam, that they have an std and are sexual active with the intent of putting others at risk, perhaps even other individuals in particular.
In this case, does the content of the oath, which makes otherwise perfectly good and ethical sense, lead us to do no, or as little harm as possible, but disclosing information we might otherwise want not to divulge, other things being equal? Even the reader who's sympathetic the general idea and desirability of confidentiality will want and need to have a sense of what you would have us do in such cases.
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