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Medical Ethics/IME ethical violation?


I was recently court mandated to have an IME. I am involved in a lawsuit for injury. The doctors were appointed by the opposing sides attorney. Before this I had no contact with these doctors.

I just found out today that the same doctors treated my brother for over a year. They did not mention this to me and I found out through his ex wife.

There were certain questions that I did not feel comfortable answering and told them such. Now I believe they know all this information because they can look it up in my brothers files.

Is this legal or ethical? Can they use this in court?


I do not know where you live or where the defense medical examination took place.  The physician cannot utilize information retrieved from his patient, your brother, in your lawsuit.  That would be a breach of ethics and most likely violative of your state's laws.  I suggest you inform your attorney so that he or she can take the necessary precautions should there be such a breach.

Very truly yours,

Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.

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Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.


In addition to my law degree, I have a master's degree in bioethics and a doctorate of philosophy involving comparative medical, legal and business ethics. I am an adjunct professor at a medical school teaching ethics to healthcare professionals and graduate students.

I can answer questions dealing with general ethics principles, including medical ethics, research ethics and bioethics. I am not a moralist and do not interject subjective values such as what is morally right and wrong. Also, I do not give legal advice over the internet.

For more information, you can view my webiste at WWW.EXPERTETHICS.COM


I have been a civil trial attorney since 1989 with a masters degree in bioethics and a doctorate of philosophy involving comparative ethics.

State Bar of Arizona
State Bar of Colorado (inactive)
District of Columbia Bar (inactive)
Federal Bar
Licensed in the Arizona District Court
Licensed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
licensed in the United States Supreme Court
American Bar Association
American Association for Justice
Arizona Trial Lawyers Association
American Society for Bioethics and Humanities
Kennedy Institute of Ethics

A list of my copyrighted publications and presentations is contained at WWW.EXPERTETHICS.COM

Bachelor of Arts 1985
Juris Doctorate 1989
Master of Arts in Bioethics 2004
Doctorate in Philosophy 2006

Awards and Honors
Phi Beta Kappa
Multiple Who's Who
Outstanding Achievement Award in Bioethics from Midwestern University

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