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Study: HIPAA Laws May Have Borders, Ethics Don't

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—U.S.

March 2, 2011

It is a breach of ethics to post pictures of medical patients receiving treatment outside of the U.S., even if HIPAA laws don't extend that far. That's according to researchers in a recent Journal of Medical Internet Research study, who looked at 1,023 medical students' Facebook pages and found 12 photos of patients being treated in developing countries, HealthLeaders Media reports. In the U.S., patients agree to be photographed after signing consent forms. But in developing countries, patients may feel that by signing such a form, they have a better chance at receiving care, says one of the study's authors. "Use your moral and ethical compass," she tells practitioners. "What if this was your child?"
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