Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, president of the Fiqh Council of North America, states the following: The relations between the doctor and the patient, between the attorney and the client, and between the religious counsellor or clergy and the believer are considered privileged and confidential. This confidentiality should be respected within the limits of law.

Islam also respects this confidentiality unless there was a crime that violated other people’s rights. One has to see to what extent this knowledge infringes on other laws and also to what extent it is required to divulge it for the benefit of others. For example, if a person has an infectious disease such as HIV and the doctor fears that this person has not communicated this to his fiancée, it is permissible for the doctor to divulge this information when asked about it.

Moreover, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, adds: If there is a reasonable ground to think that such details will harm the genuine welfare of others, then we are to do everything possible to avert it. In other words, it is our duty to avert harm from others as best as we can.