Codes of ethics for most established health care professional bodies, such as the Hippocratic Oath, the Australian Medical Association Code of Ethics, nursing codes of conduct and ethical codes for allied health care professionals require that health professionals maintain the confidentiality of patient information.
Upon the introduction of national medical registration in Australia from July 2010, the Australian Medical Council on behalf of all State and Territory medical boards developed a national code of professional conduct for medical practitioners entitled, Good Medical Practice: A Code of Conduct for Doctors in Australia states at 3.4:
Patients have a right to expect that doctors and their staff will hold information about them in confidence, unless release of information is required by law or public interest considerations. Good medical practice involves:
3.4.1 Treating information about patients as confidential.
3.4.2 Appropriately sharing information about patients for their health care, consistent with privacy law and professional guidelines about confidentiality.
3.4.3 Being aware that there are complex issues related to genetic information and seeking appropriate advice about disclosure of information.