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SPECIAL SECTION: SMART HEALTH CARE GUIDE Do I need to tell my doctor that I am LGBTQ? As a patient, you have control over what you decide to tell your health care provider; however, the more information that she has, the more likely she will be to diagnose your problem and take care of your health care needs. Ultimately, not sharing important personal information, like your sexual orientation or sexual identity, with your health care provider is a disservice to you. There are occasions when this knowledge of sexual orientation or sexual identity will help a health care provider make a better, more informed decision. Informed, enlightened and compassionate health care or to sex for is ins No tia the hu tak All in wi In of ca Ins HI it c HI br If y ne A Yo ca aro Yo Ha aft a basic human right, which you deserve and upon which you should insist. Nothing is more sacred in a health care provider’s world that the confidential relationship he shares with his patients. A health care professional has the incredible privilege and the great responsibility of sharing with another human being their most vulnerable moments in life. This obligation is not taken lightly. The seminal provision of our Hippocratic Oath declares: All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to be spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal. In more modern times, governments have chosen to augment the provisions of the Hippocratic Oath with the force of law. The confidentiality of health care information has long been legally protected; however, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, better known as HIPAA, gathered all previous confidentiality legislation into one law, which cogently summarized and expanded for the electronic age. In addition, HIPAA dramatically increased the penalties for health care providers who breach that confidentiality and trust. you do not and cannot trust your health care provider, it is time to find a new one. few points to consider and remember: You need the best healthcare available and you are your own best advocate. You are part of a community and some choices you make affect those around you and involve people you love. Your healthcare provider wants your partner to come to your procedures. Having your partner with you at stressful times helps you with instructions, after care, and support. There is nothing you can say that your healthcare provider hasn’t heard before. There is no need for embarrassment. EDITED BY LAMBDA FROM REMARKS BY ALLISON K DAVIS MD AND JERRY CADE, MD 12  LAMBDA SMART PAGES  2015-2016


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