Preserving the Integrity of Medical-Related Information – How "Informed" is Consent?
Health care services are recognised as a right. These services are available to "everyone" who needs them. This availability ensures that users, that is, persons who receive treatment in a health establishment or who are in need of health services, are able to have access to these services. Generally, health care services should be available without undue financial burden to users. This then means that the government is saddled with an added financial and administrative burden to ensure their availability to users. However, the availability of the services depends on the availability of resources. In cases where resources are diminished, users who may be in need of health care services may be excluded. Furthermore, the availability of access to health care services does not sufficiently guarantee the securing of users’ personal information. Thus, it is enquired what levels of safeguards do health establishments have to secure the personal information of users? Do these security mechanisms allow for the disclosure of personal information to third parties, and how?
Keywords: Personal information; processing; autonomy; security; critical databases.