– Only the court can decide on the interference of law enforcement agencies in medical confidentiality – this is how, on TVN24, lawyer Sylwia Gregorczyk-Abram from the “Free Courts” Initiative referred to the summoning of patients of a gynecologist from Szczecin to the police station. As “Fakty TVN” reported, this is based on documentation that – according to the court – was secured incorrectly.
Renata Kijowska, a reporter of “Fakty TVN”, in Saturday’s material returned to the case of a gynecologist from Szczecin, whose patient records were seized by the police. The activities took place in January. After two months, the doctor’s secured patient records were returned. Dr. Maria Kubisa felt aggrieved and alerted the court about the actions. The judge – as Renata Kijowska emphasized – found that the officers acted incorrectly and took too much. However, this did not prevent the doctor’s patients from being summoned for questioning as witnesses.
– There should be no such profound interference with medical confidentiality. Law enforcement agencies can conduct searches in doctor’s or lawyer’s offices. However, there are categories of cases that only the court can decide. This concerns, among other things, the issue of medical confidentiality – said lawyer Sylwia Gregorczyk-Abram from the “Free Courts” Initiative on TVN24.
She emphasized that the courts must determine whether there are grounds for action by law enforcement agencies in such situations. – I don’t know if it happened in this particular situation. Probably not, because we see how the previous actions were assessed by the court. I understand that in his opinion, too much information was collected during the activities, said the lawyer.
You can’t not show up
The lawyer emphasized that persons summoned as witnesses cannot fail to appear when summoned. – Only in exceptional situations can you refuse to answer questions. For example, when the answers could expose the witness or his or her relatives to criminal liability. However, you have to stand up, there is no other way choice – emphasized Gregorczyk-Abram.
However, she emphasized that in such situations, patients should consider appearing with an attorney.
– I would recommend this solution. The attorney can act in such a way that the protocol – which is a record of what happened during the hearing – contains provisions protecting the interests of witnesses and their relatives. Such a report, at the request of a witness, may include a record that he or she is outraged by the actions and the way they were carried out – emphasized attorney Gregorczyk-Abram.
The right to privacy
In the attorney’s opinion, law enforcement authorities may have violated the privacy of the patients of the Szczecin gynecologist.
– This right is guaranteed, among others, by the constitution and various types of international regulations. Of course, it all depends on what was in the documentation that was secured. Was there information there that caused women distress? Could they be embarrassed by having to talk about the most intimate details of their lives? This may border on inhuman treatment, concluded Sylwia Gregorczyk-Abram.
Main photo source: tvn24