Centre for Internet & Society

Privacy India in partnership with the Indian Network for People living with HIV/AIDS, Centre for Internet & Society, IDRC, Society in Action Group and Privacy International is organising an event on Medical Privacy at Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration, Rajbhavan Complex, Baner Road, Pune on June 30, 2012, from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.

Confidentiality and privacy are essential to all trusting relationships, such as that between patients and doctors. Moreover, in a healthcare context, patient confidentiality and the protection of privacy is the foundation of the doctor-patient relationship. Medical confidentiality promotes the individual's medical autonomy, by sheltering those seeking morally controversial medical care from outside criticism and interference with decisions.[1]Patients must feel comfortable sharing private information about their bodily functions, physical and sexual activities, and medical history.[2] This will make them more willing to seek information and support to fully understand and evaluate their options so that they can make the most informed medical decisions.

The disclosure of personal health information has the potential to be embarrassing, stigmatizing or discriminatory. Furthermore, various goods such as employment, life, and medical insurance, could be placed at risk if the flow of medical information were not restricted.[3]

This workshop will explore the various types of medical privacy including: informational privacy (e.g., confidentiality, anonymity, secrecy and data security); physical privacy (e.g., modesty and bodily integrity); associational privacy (e.g. intimate sharing of death, illness and recovery); proprietary privacy (e.g., selfownership and control over personal identifiers, genetic data, and body tissues); and decisional privacy (e.g., autonomy and choice in medical decision-making).[4]

The right to privacy in India has been a neglected area of study and engagement. Although sectoral legislation deals with privacy issues, India does not as yet have a horizontal legislation that deals comprehensively with privacy across all contexts. The absence of a minimum guarantee of privacy is felt most heavily by marginalized communities, including HIV patients, children, women, sexuality minorities, prisoners, etc. - people who most need to know that sensitive information is protected.

Since June 2010, Privacy India in collaboration with Privacy International, based in London, has been conducting workshops and engaging in public awareness. Participants include policy makers, researchers, sectoral experts, NGOs, and the public to discuss and deliberate different questions of privacy, its intersections and its implications with our everyday life.

The discussions have ranged from topics of online privacy to minority rights and privacy, and consumer privacy. The workshops have been organized in different cities - Bangalore, Guwahati, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Goa, etc.

Please confirm your participation through email to Natasha Vaz. We sincerely hope you will be able to attend and look forward to your participation.

Download the event Invite [PDF, 522 Kb]

[1]. Allen, A. (2011). Privacy and Medicine. in E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2011st ed.). Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2011/entries/privacy‐medicine/
[2]. Mishra, N., Parker, L., Nimgaonkar, V., & Deshpande, S. (2008). Privacy and the Right to Information Act, 2005. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, 5(4), 158‐161.
[3].Nissenbaum, H. (2004). Privacy as Contextual Integrity. Washington Law Review, 79(1), 101‐139.
[4]. Allen, A. (2011). Privacy and Medicine. In E. N. Zalta (Ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2011st ed.). Retrieved from http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2011/entries/privacy‐medicine/

The event is free and open to the public.