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Health Privacy and Confidentiality

Health Privacy and Confidentiality, Chapter 23, in Tensions and Traumas in Health Law, I Freckelton and & K Petersen (Eds) (2017) Sydney: Federation Press, Forthcoming

17 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2017  

Danuta Mendelson

Deakin University, Geelong, Australia - Deakin Law School

Gabrielle Wolf

Deakin Law School

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 15, 2017

Abstract

The notion that a patient has the right to maintain the confidentiality of information disclosed in the course of a therapeutic relationship with a health practitioner has been entrenched in Western civilisation for thousands of years. For the first time, however, we have begun to witness an erosion of this entitlement, especially in Australia in recent years. The Australian Federal Parliament has created a system of co-linked national electronic health records that, by virtue of new technology, permits government bodies and myriad other third parties to access and disseminate individuals’ health information both lawfully and without authority, almost invariably in the absence of patients’ knowledge and consent. Commonwealth legislation has also facilitated the substitution of patients’ traditional right to confidentiality of their health information with a much broader and less clearly defined right to “personal privacy”. This chapter examines how these changes have led to a fundamental upheaval of longstanding understandings about the protection of information communicated and learned in the once secluded space of the consulting room.

Keywords: patients, confidentiality, electronic health records, Big Data, assymetry of power,

JEL Classification: C55, C 89, I18, I19, K19, K39

Suggested Citation

Mendelson, Danuta and Wolf, Gabrielle, Health Privacy and Confidentiality (February 15, 2017). Health Privacy and Confidentiality, Chapter 23, in Tensions and Traumas in Health Law, I Freckelton and & K Petersen (Eds) (2017) Sydney: Federation Press, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2952275

Danuta Mendelson (Contact Author)

Deakin University, Geelong, Australia - Deakin Law School ( email )

221 Burwood Highway
Burwood
Burwood, Victoria 3125, Victoria 3125
Australia

Gabrielle Wolf

Deakin Law School ( email )

221 Burwood Highway
Burwood
Victoria 3125
Australia

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