Doctor Patient Privilege is a concept that keeps what is said between a doctor and a patient private and between the two of them. It prevents the discussion from being used against patients if they have to go to court.
Nearly every area has a doctor-patient privilege. In most jurisdictions, the discussion between doctors and their patients is all private and cannot be used against either of them in a court of law.
Such conversations are protected should a patient confess to their doctor (or psychiatrist) that they are the guilty party in a specific crime that may have resulted in civil actions.
A good example may be if the patient told the doctor that they were improving and thus the courts wanted to prosecute the person for the crimes that were committed while they were not in the right state of mind.
Patients share a level of trust between themselves and their doctors. This is the only way that a doctor can truly understand what is going on with a specific patient. It’s imperative that patients be able to communicate such vital information with their doctors.
Without this privilege, patients would not receive the care that they need nor would they be able to express to their doctors what is truly going on in their heads.
The main exception to this would be if a patient (of age or underage) were to go to a doctor with a sexually transmitted disease. In such cases, the doctor is required to obtain from the patient a list of sexual partners that may have been exposed to the disease.
The doctor would then have to contact such sexual partners and have them come in for testing. Should the patient be underage, the doctor could also turn the case in as a potential statutory rape.