My question involves public health law in the State of: MA
A relative is friends with a psychiatrist (now retired). Relative had been in treatment for depression, her MD-friend stepped in during period of financial difficulties to help renew some scripts when she’d run out of meds (basic anti-depressants). MD friend was also aware of my relative’s issues and on a few occasions saw her in office for informal “consults”. Not the wisest given their socializing, but it happens.
Relative and MD-friend had socialized with the same circle of friends for years. Some of these people came to belong to organizations/belief systems that do not approve of psych drugs/treatments. Despite MD-friend being a psychiatrist they continued to engage in the creative/commercial pursuits they’d casually shared over years. My relative never told any of these people about her medical treatment or drug usage, as it was obviously none of their business.
Imagine my relative’s surprise when she recently received a signed letter from one of this social group, stating that she would not be able to continue to engage in activities with them because they’d been made aware that she was ”potentially unstable” and had been taking psych meds. The letter-writer had the nerve to ask that my relative contact them to let them know if she was still taking these so they could decide whether or not to continue socializing with her or not.
Craziness of my relative’s friends & life notwithstanding, it’s certain that the source about my relative’s medical history came from her MD-friend….my questions are 1) has a legal violation occurred or only an ethical one and 2) what action/s (if any) can my relative take to get the letter-writer to own up as to who exactly told her about the psych treatment and meds, so she can therefore pursue a case? Does she have any rights to get her to admit her source -?