Throughout its history the physician-patient privilege has been the subject of controversial discussion, and in recent years these discussions have been dominated by voices of bitter disapproval and severe criticism. Judges, lawyers, textwriters, and teachers have denounced the privilege by characterizing it as everything from a "monumental hoax" to a "clever legerdemain loaned by the law to the parties to suppress the truth." Critics maintain that in the majority of reported cases the patient invoked the privilege, not to protect his privacy or to prevent the disclosure of humiliating personal facts (supposedly the purpose for the creation of the privilege), but to exclude relevant and material evidence which would reduce or defeat a verdict favorable to the patient.
Naoma Lee Stewart, Physician-Patient Privilege in Ohio, 8 Clev.-Marshall L. Rev. 444 (1959)