State v. Boehme

In State v. Boehme, 71 Wn.2d 621, 430 P.2d 527, 536 (Wash. 1967), a case in which the defendant was convicted of assault for having attempted to poison his wife, the court held "the defendant could not assert the doctor-patient privilege flowing to . . . the . . . victim of the alleged crime." Addressing a privilege statute similar to 13-4062(4), the Washington Supreme Court reasoned that the statute's purpose was "to surround communications between patient and physician with the cloak of confidence, and thus allow complete freedom in the exchange of information between them to the end that the patient's ailments may be properly treated." 430 P.2d at 535. The court further stated that the privilege was designed to protect a patient for purposes of treatment and "should not, by unrealistic or impractical application, become a means whereby criminal activities of third persons may be shielded from detection, prosecution, and punishment, however magnanimous, compassionate or conciliatory the victim might otherwise wish to be." Id. at 536.