Deborah Peel, M.D., is a well-known advocate of health information privacy. She has her detractors in the industry who believe she's rigid, radical and/or a Luddite. And she has her supporters who see her as a courageous and strong voice for views that must be heard.
Either way, Peel, in a new essay on the HIStalk blog of anonymous hospital CIO Mr. H, explains the base reason that health information needs to be on the front lines of the privacy debate. If Americans lose all control over personal health information, then they will lose all privacy rights in the Digital Age, she argues.
Further, Americans will lose the basic democratic right to be left alone, she contends. Enabling the government and corporations to know everything about us will weaken the pillars of our democracy, writes Peel, founder of the Patient Privacy Rights organization.
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