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Healthcare and Patient Privacy

            Health Research has been ongoing for centuries if not eons. People associated with the medical field have over the years studied and analyzed various issues or developments that have occurred in the human body. Many have even gone on to recognize similarities between the human beings and particular animals like monkeys, or rodents like rats and have carried out examinations on them so as to pre-test various things before releasing them to the access of humans. But in order to make these milestones, is patient information meant to be shared between researchers? Or is it more important to stick to patient privacy and confidentiality practices?.
             As it stands currently, there is no concrete definition of the word privacy which has led to scholars debating and drawing their own conclusions on the matter. But according to one scholar, he believes, Privacy is experienced on a personal level and often means different things to different people (Nass). I believe privacy is where one is entitled to personal information of his/her own and this information is not shared until the person in question has given his/her permission. The difference between privacy, confidentiality and security (though the three are confused many at times) is that privacy is concerned with the information right from the moment it is collected to the moment it is used, confidentiality is more concerned with the relationship between the parties that the information is shared with (that the information must not reach an outside party) and security are the measures put in place to avoid unauthorized access to the information.
             Privacy is viewed in terms of four aspects: personal freedom, individuality, respect and dignity. Privacy may vary from one individual to the next but one or more of the four aspects lie in the foundation of why one may consider some information to be private or not. Personal freedom refers to the ability for one to make certain personal decisions.

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