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Caught in the Web: The Internet and the Demise of Medical Privacy

Caught in the Web: The Internet and the Demise of Medical Privacy
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Author(s): Keith A. Bauer (Jefferson College of Health Sciences, USA)
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 21
Source title: Ethical Issues and Security Monitoring Trends in Global Healthcare: Technological Advancements
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Steven A. Brown (Capella University, USA) and Mary Brown (Capella University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-174-4.ch013

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Abstract

The social consequences of the internet are profound. Evidence of this can easily be found in the enormous body of literature discussing its impact on democracy, globalization, social networking, and education. The implications of the internet for medicine have likewise received a great deal of attention from policy makers, clinicians and technology theorists. Medical privacy, in particular, has garnered the lion’s share of attention. Nevertheless, research in this area has been lacking because it either fails to unpack the conceptual and ethical complexities of privacy or overestimates the power of technology and policy to protect our medical privacy. The aims of this chapter are twofold. The first is to provide a nuanced explication of the concept of privacy, and, second, to argue that e-medicine and the policies supposedly designed to protect the privacy and confidentiality of personal health information fail to do so and in some instances make their violations easier to commit.

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