America’s medical system has been guided for centuries by the doctor-patient confidentiality doctrine. The Hippocratic Oath states, “Whatsoever I shall see or hear of the lives of women or men which are not fit to be spoken, I will keep inviolably secret.”
Hence, patients felt free to tell their doctors their deepest concerns about their health because they knew “what was said in the doctor’s office stayed in the doctor’s office.”
A recent report from California should make the citizens of Oklahoma and Maine grateful to Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) for actively pursuing greater privacy and security protections in the Wired for Health Care Quality Act. Thanks to their actions, the Senate may press for more privacy and a consumer-friendly version of Wired when it returns this fall.