Health Care Privacy: Is It Worth Fighting For?

Is the right to Privacy the right war in the 21st Century or is it Dignity? It’s hard to abandon the ideas we grew up with. It’s harder still to deal with those ideas when they turn on you. You and I grew up in a culture that has highly valued privacy. It certainly is an important value. But the web is changing our ability to maintain privacy. In health care, it will become increasingly expensive to maintain patient privacy. Our policies on health care (eg. HIPAA) can actually hinder our right to privacy and undermine progressive efforts to improve health care.

So: is our right to health care worth fighting for? At what point do we decide that other rights may be more important to defend?

I’m not suggesting that we devalue our privacy. In light of the direction we are headed with exponential technological changes, we will need a re-think of which of our values are worth fighting for. I think the right to Dignity is a fight worth fighting for, perhaps even more important in this century than Privacy.

What do you think? Is our focus on privacy the wrong focus? Is it time that we challenged our assumptions and values about privacy? Exercise your right to speak.

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