Face to Face With 'It': And Other Neglected Contexts of Health Privacy

Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 151, No. 3, p. 300, September 2007

U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 07-41

10 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2007 Last revised: 28 Sep 2009

See all articles by Anita L. Allen

Anita L. Allen

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Abstract

"Illness has recently emerged from the obscurity of medical treatises and private diaries to acquire something like celebrity status," Professor David Morris astutely observes. Great plagues and epidemics throughout history have won notoriety as collective disasters; and the Western world has made curiosities of an occasional "Elephant Man," "Wild Boy," or pair of enterprising "Siamese Twins." People now reveal their illnesses and medical procedures in conversation, at work and on the internet. This paper explores the reasons why, despite the celebrity of disease and a new openness about health problems, privacy and confidentiality are still values in medicine.

Keywords: medical privacy, journalism, right to control health data disclosures, right to choose solitude or seclusion

Suggested Citation

Allen, Anita L., Face to Face With 'It': And Other Neglected Contexts of Health Privacy. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 151, No. 3, p. 300, September 2007, U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 07-41, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1016213

Anita L. Allen (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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