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Doctor-celebrity confidentiality: Does it even exist?

USA Today, August 29, 2008

Christina Applegate is the latest celebrity to find her medical troubles in a tabloid. Patrick Swayze, Britney Spears, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Dennis Quaid, George Clooney, and Farrah Fawcett have all in recent years have seen information from their medical records, or those of loved ones, spread in the press and on the Internet without their permission and sometimes in violation of the law. In response, celebrities can insist the leaker be prosecuted or sue the outlet that paid for and published the leak for invasion of privacy. But both would take a long time, cost a lot of money, perpetuate the leak and even force more disclosures of records. In addition, they might not win and the story of their medical condition will live forever in the media.