Privacy in Health Care
Privacy is the foundation of the entire health care system. Without it, we will not trust our doctors enough to tell them about symptoms and illnesses that are painful, frightening, embarrassing, or may cause other people to fear or avoid us. Being ill can be a profoundly disturbing and scary experience. The loss of health and strength, receiving care from others, depending on others, and facing recovery or death has profound emotional significance for each of us. We require absolute privacy to trust our doctors, face what our illness means to us, and seek professional help.
The practice of Medicine and our current health care system would not even exist had doctors not guaranteed patient privacy for the past 2,400 years, assuring us that our needs came first. The privacy of medical care is a fundamental human need, guarded zealously by physicians for millennia.
2,400 years ago, Hippocrates realized that a patient’s willingness to trust his or her physician was absolutely essential to the practice of Medicine. Therefore, he codified the physician’s duty to keep the patient’s communications private. The Hippocratic Oath requires physicians to put the patient’s need for privacy first and foremost, ahead of all else. The key promise every doctor makes in taking the Hippocratic Oath upon becoming a physician is never to reveal patients’ sensitive communications heard during the course of care and treatment.
The importance of acting only on behalf of the patient, which means only with the patient’s permission or consent, was later codified into the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Principles of Medical Ethics and the ethical principles of every other health profession, as well as the American Hospital Association.
Destruction of the Healthcare System
When the American public realizes that medical privacy no longer exists, they will avoid care, lie, omit sensitive details, and seek medical help only as a last resort. The elimination of privacy will destroy the healthcare system.
Without medical privacy, every word we tell our doctors, every test result, every diagnosis, every prescription we take becomes extremely valuable commercial information to be used despite our objections by over 600,000 individuals, private businesses, corporations and the government to discriminate against us, sell us their products, and deny us jobs, credit, and insurance.
Our medical system is now being designed to widely distribute the most sensitive personal information that exists about each us to an unlimited number of private entities to use for virtually any business purpose, without our consent. The elimination of medical privacy will sooner or later destroy the health care system, as people realize they must choose between privacy or health.
Our goal is to inform all American’s about the elimination of medical privacy, so that we can work together to restore this fundamental human right.
Privacy Is A Constitutional Right
Medical privacy is a fundamental Constitutional right. The right to privacy is the basis of our freedom and liberty. Democracy exists because law-abiding citizens have the right to be let alone.
The fate of our Democracy rests on preserving human rights. The highest and most valued right of civilized man is the right to be let alone (U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brandeis).
Through this website, the Patient Privacy Rights Foundation wants to:
- educate you and every American about the loss of individual patient privacy
- empower you to protect your health information, and
- motivate you to inform and educate others