German doctors skeptical about reported confidentiality plan

A German doctors' association is expressing skepticism at reported government plans to loosen patient confidentiality obligations in an effort to tighten security laws following recent attacks.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere plans to present proposed new security measures Thursday. Bild newspaper reported Wednesday, without identifying sources, they would include making it easier for doctors to report patients' planned crimes to authorities, as well as easing deportation of terror suspects.

Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate said the plans are still being finalized.

In Germany, doctors can face a fine or up to a year in prison for breaching patient confidentiality, though there are already exceptions.

Frank Ulrich Montgomery, the head of the German Medical Association, said that "the tense domestic security situation must not tempt us into rash political and legal measures."