Mr. X vs hospital Z, Appeal (civil) 4641 of 1998 - Synopsis
Team SoOLEGAL 11 Aug 2021

The case is a landmark judgement that has disclosed two issues, that whether the spouse of an HIV patient has the right to know about her/his HIV Aid status, whether the doctor can disclose their patient’s confidential information in exception to situations such as in this case where a man who was HIV positive had put an allegation of breach of duty by the hospital and doctor by disclosing the information of the plaintiff being HIV positive to his fiancéand the marriage was called off.

The judgment has very well highlighted the necessary distinction between an ethical duty and a legal code.

It was held by the Court that the doctor's duty towards their patient to Maintain secrecy is not absolute and can be violated whenever needed.

Such as for Public interest. The Court also held that Ms A’s fundamental right to be informed about any threat to her life/health was more crucial than appellants right to privacy so the respondent was not found guilty.

The Court further held the appellant shall be punishable under the section 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal code For the appellant had decided to marry even while suffering from a dreadful disease.

His right to marry was suspended until complete cure of the appellant’s disease.

This was based on various statutes which gave a right to the spouse to take a divorce on the ground of communicable disease such as HIV aids. 

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