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Opinion: Patient Information Sharing "Orwellian"

HEALTHCARE PRIVACY—AUSTRALIA

April 7, 2011

In a feature for The Medical Journal of Australia, authors David Handelsman, Leo Turner and Ann Conway discuss recent decisions that impact patient privacy. "In one, a state government directs that private medical records be lodged in an Orwellian sounding 'Central Register' without regard for the individual's knowledge and risking privacy breaches by seeking consent for disclosure to third parties," they write. The second allows patients' healthcare data disclosure "against their wishes" even without an urgent need to protect patient health. "Both these legislative assaults on privacy reflect the fashionable belief in genetic determinism prevailing over any ethical, moral and legal constraints of everyday life," they write.
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