Man alleges doctor breached his privacy, moves Delhi HC

On Friday, the Delhi High Court asked for the status of Mental health boards of the city after a man told them there was no authority to consider his complaint against his psychiatrist, who told his mother about his homosexuality which was a breach of his confidentiality and privacy.

Hon’ble Justice Praticha Singh asked the State Mental Health Authority to file a status report on the Mental Health Review Board and State Mental Health Authority’s functioning.

The petitioner, studying psychology at Delhi University, was being treated by the doctor for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder from 15.6.2019. The petitioner alleged that the doctor compromised his privacy.

During the treatment, the boy told the doctor that he was exploring his sexual orientation and told his doctor how fearful he was about his family finding out about his sexuality.

Later he was referred to a clinical psychologist for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). During his treatment with the clinical psychologist, he continued to have sessions with the psychiatrist.

During one of the sessions, the psychiatrist had a long chat with the man’s mother and told her that the man was exploring his sexuality. 

The plea states that the man was still exploring his sexuality, and the doctor broke confidentiality when she informed the man’s mother.

Counsel for the petitioner informed the Court that he has written to the doctor’s hospital and complained about him, but no action was taken. He further submitted that he now wanted to complain to the MHRB.

It was further contended that the Delhi government has failed to implement the Mental Health Act, and the state authority functions as both SMHA and MHRB, which is contrary to provisions of the Act.

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On the other hand, counsel for NCT of Delhi sought time while counsel for SMHA submitted that both the authorities were functioning and stated that MHRB would take action against the doctor if a complaint is made.

The Court asked him to file status reports on the issue and posted the matter to July 22.

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