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Opinion: Media Ethics Required for Health Data

INFORMATION ACCESS—VICTORIA

July 22, 2011

Two laws govern information privacy in Victoria--one specifically covers health records, and for good reason, writes Beth Wilson in The Sydney Morning Herald. "The parliament of the day took the view that our health information is different...it can be extremely sensitive, intimate and prone to misuse for discriminatory purposes," Wilson writes. And while the media is exempt from privacy laws, recent decisions to publish people's health information say "a lot about the values of the publishing organisation." Media has an ethical responsibility to treat health information sensitively, according to Wilson, and "freedom of the press is a privilege that must be respected and used responsibly."
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