The role of history in debates regarding the boundaries of medical confidentiality and privacy

Ferguson, A. H. (2015) The role of history in debates regarding the boundaries of medical confidentiality and privacy. Journal of Medical Law and Ethics, 3(1-2), pp. 65-81. (doi:10.7590/221354015X14319325750070) (PMID:26877972) (PMCID:PMC4751619)

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Abstract

Medical confidentiality and privacy are often given a long pedigree as core issues in medical ethics that can be traced back to the Hippocratic Oath. However, it is only recently that focused historical work has begun to examine and analyse in greater detail how the boundaries of medical confidentiality and privacy have evolved within a variety of cultural contexts during the modern period. Such research illustrates the ways in which this process has been shaped by a range of issues, individuals, interest groups and events; and been influenced as much by pragmatic concerns as by theoretical arguments. This paper presents a case for the merits of promoting further historical work on these topics. It suggests that greater support for, and recognition of, historical research has a number of potential benefits. These include providing meaningful context to current interdisciplinary discussions of the collection and use of patient information; improving knowledge and understanding of the foundations on which current policy and practice are built; and promoting public engagement and understanding of the evolution of medical confidentiality and privacy as complex public interest issues.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ferguson, Dr Angus
Authors: Ferguson, A. H.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Economic and Social History
Journal Name:Journal of Medical Law and Ethics
Publisher:Paris Legal Publishers
ISSN:2213-5405
ISSN (Online):2214-5354
Copyright Holders:Copyright © Paris Legal Publishers
First Published:First published in Journal of Medical Law and Ethics 3(1-2):65-81
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the publisher.

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
654521Medical Confidentiality & Privacy: Past, Present and FutureAngus FergusonWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)103499/Z/14/ZSPS - ECONOMIC & SOCIAL HISTORY