I'm wondering if anyone knows about the legality of "not telling" positive HCV to your dentist/hygenist? I am seeing a new hygenist and they ask you every question in the book as well as every medical question.. I dont want to divulge because this is a small town and I KNOW how everyone talks in med offices. I'm tempted to say I had hep back in the 70's but I dont want to tell I have hep c now... Does anyone know the legal issues around this?
Thx .... M4now
It is entirely up to you who you decide to tell. Obviously, when you first receive your diagnosis, only you, the person delivering the result and any other health care professionals involved with your hepatitis C test will know your status. Your specialist and/or GP should not reveal your status to anyone as they are bound by a Code of Ethics and laws surrounding confidentiality. The only people they can notify about your status without your permission are other health care workers who are involved in some way, shape or form with your monitoring.
Most dentists use universal precautions now including the spit guard. Health care workers are suppose to expect that their pt. could have any disease and protect themselves. So I would not worry about telling them unless you were bleeding and they cut their hand/glove and blood to blood contact was made.
You are correct...probly the biggest worry is geting something from your dentist...some still dont sterilze their tools effeicently...watch my spelling...im bad...also its best t ask to see the way its done...if they refuse...WALK.
I'm not sure about the legality, here in Denmark they advise you to tell your dentists and your doctors. But you don't have to. I chose to do so, as I have had my dentist for the last 10 years. She was very happy I did, as she usually schedules ppl with infectious diseases as her last patients the day, so they have extra time to clean up extra extra thoroughly after the patient. That doesn't mean that that they don't clean thoroughly after every patient.
Ain't no ones's business but yours. If they take different precautions for a person who has hcv then it means they are cutting corners for all other patients. The procedures are universal, not specialized.
That's right - ain't no one's business and they should be using the same precautions with every patient regardless. If they are using extra caution to clean up after a patient with an infectious disease than they haven't been using proper sterilization techniques to begin with - should be the same for everyone across the board
Marcia, just a thought ... not everyone knows they have an infectious disease as we well know. As a result, the procedures SHOULD be the same across the board, as the others have said. You might want to ask about this.
Turn it around and ask THEM the questions. Ask them how they prevent against spreading of communicable diseases and have them tell you how THEY keep their patients safe and what their safety procedures are.
Thank you for your concern, Trish, always very much appreciated.
There is no problem with my dentist. She is clean, hygienic and a good dentist. In Denmark dentists are spotless, also the communal clinics for all the school kids. (Dental care is free until the age of 18.) You know, in a small country like this, everything concerning hygiene etc in the medical profession is 'controlled', if you know what I mean. The standards are high. Even the tattoo and piercing shops cannot operate without special licences and they have to conform to the hygienic rules set by the system. Places get inspected on a regular basis.
My husband referred me to this dentist, when I came to Denmark 10 years ago. He has been treating with her for about 25 yrs or so. We know how she works, so there's no need to ask about her hygienic practices.
It was my own decision to tell the nurse, whom I also know for 10 years, that I have hep c when I did my appointment. So after our usual small talk and her saying sorry to hear that I'm ill etc., she suggested to put me in the afternoon, as they routinely do it with patients with HIV and other infectious diseases they know about.
But back to Mary's concern about legality. In Denmark there are no legal issues concerning whom you should tell. It is totally up to you. They only suggest that you speak to your GP and dentist about it.
I work in a spa, and I'm a bit worried that if I did tell them at the hygenists office, they would think twice about coming to the spa. I do mostly administrative work now, but I was a massage therapist for 20 yrs.
I have always told my dentists etc that I had hep back in the 70's, just not sure what kind it was. which is the truth, but now that I know I have hep c,,, I'm not so inclined to tell.
I concur that they should all treat everyone as if they had a potential communicable disease, because you just dont know... I have not always felt this way, but I sure do now. Of course that stands to reason because I did get the hep c from somewhere. So I am very careful now.. closing the barn door after the horse is out.
I appreciate your feedback and I'm going to tell them I had hep in the 70's and thats it, so that should put them on alert. I will ask them about their sterilization and precautions.
I did stick myself in the 80's when I was doing dental assisting.
Yikes, no one gets out of here alive...its amazing we last as long as we do. I sure hope they come up with some good meds for this virus.. thanks again.
I have worked in doctors offices and I have heard them discussing patients. My girlfriend is a nurse practitioner for 35 years and she says med offices do talk.. so .... i'm inclined to pass this time. M
I had a very bad experience telling my dentist, his assistant and the dentist himself looked at me like I was a freak of nature. Did not feel good at all, I really don't think many ppl tell them. At least I won't tell another dentist in my again. later
If you don't mind me asking, have you ever treated before? You mentioned you hoped they come up with some new meds for the virus soon. The reason I ask is if you have had hepc since the 70's there is a very good chance you have some liver disease. Even though this is a slow moving virus and it can take a long time to get to the advanced stage of liver disease you are at the age where the damage starts to accelerate. It is harder to eradicate the virus when the liver reaches stage 3 or 4 (4 being cirrhosis) so treatment may be something you want consider in the near future.
They appreciated it. It made no difference to them since they MUST treat ALL patients as though they have something infectuous. The fact that I was honest with them I think they appreciated. For me it is an act of caring. IF they did something dumb; took of a glove or such I've warned them; reminded them. The message is that I care more about them than I care about my privacy. It is hard to not care about someone who cares about you.
I also hate to suggest it..... but how many doctors have been exposed to HCV before safety procedures were in place. Some of these guys may have HCV and could be afraid to tell us.
Anyway...... my experience with disclosing was good. And yes!!!! On my folder in RED it says HCV just so they don't forget (and nor will I let them)
"It is entirely up to you who you decide to tell. Obviously, when you first receive your diagnosis, only you, the person delivering the result and any other health care professionals involved with your hepatitis C test will know your status. "
Probably true in most cases, but not for everyone everywhere. When my husband was diagnosed, we were duly informed that his name would be submitted to the State and the CDC, as was required of all physicians in our state with any newly diagnosed HCV patient. In relation to hep, the government in some cases overrides the Code of Ethics and patient privacy altogether.
thx again, I guess the only thing that comes to mind is how ignorant most people are. Like me for instance I had not clue about hep c and I had hepatitis in 1970. I thought its a virus, you get sick, you get better. I do know someone who was denied care 3 times by dentists. That would be bad enough, I'm concerned about the impact of a breach of confidentiality and I just dont know how knowledgeable my dental health care providers are. I think I will wait to see. Funny how having this disease brings you closer to people who suffer the sting of discrimination... .....XX M
For hep c legality, heads up. I work in IT for healthcare, and the EPIC med system most hospitals are moving show your diagnoses right at the top of your demographic info. Anyone who can see it, can see everything. Sad really!
I went to get my wisdom teeth pulled at age 46 , I was honest with the dentist told him I had Hep C . He took a bunch of X-Rays I paid him $350.00 , he said his nurse would be in contact with me for an. Appt to have the work done. I called back about a week later and was told he was to busy to fit me in. I feel I owe it to all medical professionals to tell them about the Hep , but after that it makes me now wonder!
Thanks all just venting
Yep, know it's an old post, but I've learned also not to tell health care 'professionals', though every now and then I meet someone who understands or wants to understand, and is extra caring. Just the opposite of most experiences.
I just wanted to say, that ALL health professionals should treat everyone as if they may be carrying an undiagnosed infectious disease.
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