AFFIRMATIVE MEDICAL IMPACTS 222
LACK OF MEDICAL PRIVACY DESTROYS OPEN RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DOCTOR AND PATIENT
IF PEOPLE DON'T FEEL CONFIDENT IN CONFIDING THEIR MEDICAL INFORMATION, CARE WILL SUFFER
Louise D. Palmer, Globe Correspondent, The Boston Globe, June 7, 1999, SECTION: NATIONAL/FOREIGN; Pg. A1 TITLE: Privacy bill for patients is debated // acs-VT2001
Even if these issues are resolved, Margo Goldman, a psychiatrist from the Boston area and a leader of the National Coalition for Patient Rights, pointed out that the proposed legislation does not deal with one of the greatest threats to patient privacy: cradle-to-grave" electronic medical records that are just now being developed to follow patients throughout their lifetimes.
"The bottom line is that if patients don't feel free to be open and honest about their clinical history, and doctors don't feel free to write it down, the quality of care will be badly compromised," Goldman said.
ONE IN SIX PATIENTS TAKES EXTREME STEPS TO HIDE MEDICAL INFORMATION
USA TODAY, July 26, 1999, SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 14A TITLE: With patient-data leaks spreading, Congress fans the flames // acs-EE2001
Given this state of affairs, it's no surprise that one in six patients reports taking extreme steps -- such as avoiding doctors or paying cash -- to preserve privacy.
DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP DEPENDS ON CONFIDENTIALITY
Phil Porter, The Columbus Dispatch, July 12, 1999, SECTION: NEWS , Pg. 4B TITLE: MEDICAL ID SYSTEM DEBATED ISSUE COMES DOWN TO PRIVACY RIGHTS VS. HEALTH BENEFITS // acs-EE2001
Healy is skeptical that any privacy rules can be effective. She said she is passionate about protecting the privacy of medical records because of the sacredness of the doctor-patient relationship, which hinges on confidentiality.
"I'm fearful that the federal law will intrude on that privileged relationship and seriously damage it,'' Healy said.
FEAR OF LOSING MEDICAL PRIVACY STOPS PATIENTS FROM TALKING TO THEIR DOCTORS
JANE E. ALLEN, Los Angeles Times, February 8, 1999, SECTION: Health; Part S; Page 1; TITLE: A NEW PUSH IS ON FOR PATIENTS' PRIVACY LAW// acs-EE2001
A survey commissioned by the California HealthCare Foundation and released at the forum "documents that a significant percentage of people in this country are afraid to talk to their doctors, are afraid to be honest with their doctors and in some cases are afraid to seek care," Goldman said.
One in six Americans engages in "privacy protected behaviors," such as paying out of pocket for care otherwise covered by insurance, lying to a doctor about their medical history or being afraid to get care, the survey conducted in November and December 1998 found.
"They're worried the information is going to come back to haunt them in some way. They're worried they're going to lose benefits, lose a job or be embarrassed," Goldman said.
PRIVACY IS ESSENTIAL FOR GOOD MEDICAL CARE, FOR PATIENTS TO REVEAL INFORMATION TO CAREGIVERS
Leah Curtin and Roy Simpson; Health Management Technology, August, 1999; Pg. 32 TITLE: Privacy in the Information Age? // acs-VT2001
In the end, privacy of medical records is essential for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most compelling is that patients are far less likely to reveal vital personal information with health professionals if they think it will be shared freely with individuals who may not have either a need or a right to it -- and may even use it to exploit or harm them.