First Nations Privacy and Modern Health Care Delivery
32 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2011 Last revised: 1 Oct 2015
Date Written: January 7, 2011
This paper discusses First Nations privacy principles, in the context of Canada’s electronic health records initiatives. The use of information technology in health care has been cited as a key mechanism by which care providers can improve the quality of care while protecting the long-term sustainability of the universal health care system. Research has shown that many inefficiencies and quality concerns stem from a lack of access to relevant information. As a result, Canada is investing heavily in electronic health records. While attention has been paid to the privacy and security issues of these systems, the unique viewpoint of Canada’s First Nations has not been addressed as frequently. First Nations’ claims to sovereignty and self-determination are expressed in the domain of information technology through the OCAP principles. If these principles cannot be accommodated within the scope of Canada’s eHealth initiatives, First Nations groups may face reduced access to quality health care. This paper introduces the various normative frameworks involved in eHealth delivery to First Nations, including privacy laws and the OCAP principles. It reviews current initiatives, and outlines the major challenges that have to be overcome if First Nations concerns are to be addressed. We hope that this work will bring this understudied issue to the attention of the broader legal community.
Keywords: OCAP, e-Health, Privacy, Canadian Law, Aboriginal Law, First Nations, aboriginal privacy, native american privacy, aboriginal health, native american health, data ownership
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