Privacy protections and ethical health research provide various valuable

Privacy protections and ethical health research

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Privacy protections and ethical health research provide various valuable benefits to society. Improving health care as well as human health, research is vital and and must be done while preserving patients rights as well as protecting them from harm. “The primary justification for protecting personal privacy is to protect the interest of individuals. In contrast, the primary justification for collecting personally identifiable health information for health research is to benefit society. But it is important to stress that privacy also has value at the societal level, because it permits complex activities, including research and public health activities to be carried out in ways that protect individuals' dignity” (Nass, 2009). Most people in American society and populations place a high value on our individual rights, our personal choice rights, as well as our private information being protected from intrusion. For example, our medical records include a lot if not all of our intimate details about our lives. Everything from our physical and mental health, to our personal relationships, financial status, to our social behaviors. Adolescents tend to be the ones who view confidentiality as being most important when seeking health care. “When adolescents perceive that health services are not confidential, they report that they are less likely to seek care, particularly for reproductive health matters or substance abuse” (Weddle & Kokotailo, 2005). Population wise, if security is breached, everyone's health information that was inappropriately
accessed could face a number of potential harms not to mention identity theft. Information could be sold and used elsewhere around the world. It can also cause economic harm. “Individuals could lose their job, health insurance, or housing if the wrong type of information becomes public knowledge. Individuals could also experience social or psychological harm. For example, the disclosure that an individual is infected with HIV or another type of sexually transmitted infection can cause social isolation and/or other psychologically harmful results” (Gostin, 2008). Efficacy With the shift of our world to a more technologically advanced world, it's no surprise that the world of medicine also shifted to a more technologically advanced world as well. In the 1960's “hospitals typically shared a mainframe because computers and storage were so large and expensive” (Grandia, n.d.). In 1975, Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, bringing faster computer systems that allowed users to retrieve and send information at a quicker pace. Faster computers meant better programs for hospitals and better patient services. When the computer era began, so did the era of portability, meaning new portable medical records were available for use in hospitals and government institutions. The Health Information Technology for Clinical Health Act, HITECH Act, began under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It promotes “adoption of meaningful use of health care information and

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