A federation of surgeons’ associations has drawn up guidelines for protecting patient privacy in the face of criticism that doctors are revealing too much personal data in research journals and academic meetings, federation officials said Sunday.

The guidelines call on doctors to refrain from disclosing even the initials of patients’ names, let alone addresses, professional titles and other data. They are also urged not to reveal more than the month and year in providing time references about patients’ treatments.

On details about the locations of accidents and disasters, the guidelines limit them to prefectures or major cities.

The guidelines are intended in part to avert possible litigation, federation officials said.

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