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Wednesday, 28th January 2009

Rethinking the Role of Consent in Protecting Health Information Privacy

Rethinking the Role of Consent in Protecting Health Information Privacy
Source: Center for Democracy and Technology

The Center for Democracy & Technology today released a major policy paper intended to move the health privacy debate from its outdated focus on patient consent to a comprehensive framework that will provide more effective privacy protection.

CDT's paper argues that personal health information should easily flow for treatment, payment, and certain core administrative tasks without requiring patient consent, but that stricter limits need to be placed on marketing and other secondary uses. Rather than relying on consent to control all uses of health information, CDT says, consent should be used in a more focused way, required, for example, for access and disclosure of information in the new Personal Health Records being established on the Internet, or for uses and disclosures of information for marketing purposes.

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