Susan is a physician in a multi-physician practice. One night after work while Susan was grocery shopping, Susan was approached by the husband of one of her patients. The husband stopped Susan to ask about his wifes condition. Susan knew that her patient was close to her husband and that she could use some family support to deal with a difficult diagnosis. Susan told the husband that because of this diagnosis, it would really help if he could be emotionally supportive of his wife as well as help more with the household chores. Susan told the husband that it might be a good idea if the husband kept their conversation to himself so the wife would think that the incentive to help came from him.
1. Are Susans actions a violation if she, as a doctor, was only looking out for the welfare of her patient? Why, or why not?
2. If, while discussing her patients condition and needs with her patients husband at the grocery store, their conversation was overheard by other shoppers, is there any violation of the patients right to privacy? Is there a violation if Susan had not intended that others hear their conversation? Explain your answer.
3. What would be the acceptable actions for Susan to have taken upon being approached by her patients husband?
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