What’s Wrong with Health Privacy?

Journal of Health & Biomedical Law, Vol. V, pp. 1-32, 2009

Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-04

33 Pages Posted: 23 May 2009 Last revised: 20 Feb 2012

See all articles by Nicolas Terry

Nicolas Terry

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Date Written: May 19, 2009

Abstract

This article seeks to identify some of the reasons why “privacy” remains so contentious. Here I suggest several possible answers ranging from “micro” issues such as what we understand by health privacy to more “macro” and operational issues as we seek to protect health information. First, lawyers have made consistent errors in the terminology applied to the protection of medical privacy; second, both the legal and ethical domains have failed to apply a consistent and robust rationale for health privacy, leaving it prey to consequentialist thought and policy; third, the declining importance of the physician-patient relationship as the touchstone for obligations, particularly confidentiality, has created a “rights” vacuum; fourth, the health information revolution truly is revolutionary in its reach and its concomitant threats to privacy and confidentiality; and, finally, as privacy regulation increasingly lies in the sphere of governmental command-control regulation, it has joined the list of targets in the professionalism-market-regulation conflict over millennial healthcare delivery.

Suggested Citation

Terry, Nicolas P., What’s Wrong with Health Privacy? (May 19, 2009). Journal of Health & Biomedical Law, Vol. V, pp. 1-32, 2009 ; Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-04. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1407054

Nicolas P. Terry (Contact Author)

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 W. New York St
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States

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