Why Medical Privacy?

Why is the privacy of YOUR personal and health information so important?

  • Privacy is the cornerstone of all our other human rights. If privacy is breached our fundamental human rights and freedoms are threatened, such as the freedom of expression, association and conscience.
  • Privacy is enshrined and protected not just in our Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but also in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and The International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights.
  • Privacy intersects with the right to seek, receive, and impart information in the healthcare context, between a doctor and a patient, and is a pre-requisite for informed consent for medical decision making.
  • Privacy is necessary to build trust. In the doctor-patient relationship, trust is essential. Patients need to feel confident that the personal details provided to a doctor about their intimate lives and bodies are safe and private.
  • Privacy helps build confidence. Privacy allows a patient to feel safe and be confident that the information they provide to their doctor will not be exploited, used against them or disclosed to anyone the patient has not and does not wish to share it with.
  • Privacy allows us to maintain social boundaries. Patients share information with their doctor that they don’t want other people to know. We do so with the knowledge and reassurance that the information will not be revealed without our permission. Having control over who knows what about us gives us peace of mind and develops and maintains healthy relationships with medical professionals.
  • Privacy protects our personal information from being used by others, or by organizations for their own goals. Our information can become a powerful tool or weapon in the wrong hands. In our case, the right to privacy protects against the CPSO misusing our personal and health information for their own goals.
  • Privacy cannot be breached unless there is valid lawful justification. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms places restrictions on government agencies (such as the CPSO) and corporations from stealing or misusing information in which there is a right to privacy.
  • Privacy of our records is necessary for the protection of our information and the doctor- patient relationship.
  • Privacy ensures we have control over our own information. Our information should only be used in ways to which we agree. If we don’t have control, we feel helpless and vulnerable.

"PRIVACY = Freedom & Liberty" Keynote by Ann Cavoukian