Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Distrusting doctors

Imagine you become sick. What it is we will disclose: that is your private bussiness, true? You go to a hospital and you meet a doctor. He asks what is the problem and wants to know every detail. In order to be able to decide on a diagnosis and consequently a treatment. He writes down those details you revealed. Maybe in a hesitant way, as it can be embarassing, but, hey, it is a doctor and he is bound to secrecy and the oath of Socrates, isn’t he?

Well, we have created a society where we cannot count on secure intimacy and privacy anymore. Not even from a doctor.
The doctor makes a file on you in his computer and this file is stored on the server of the hospital.
The agreement is that only those who treat you, have access to your delicate medical information you were so confident to reveal.
In the Netherlands is a special office called the CBP (College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens): it is a neutral institution safeguarding and checking the privacy of the Dutch citizens.
This CBP went to nine hospitals to check how safe personal data of the patients was.
In not one hospital it was safe. Not one hospital had a security system making their data base safe from illegal visitors.
The CBP found examples of a woman who worked in the hospital who checked in the hospital data base what was the reason her neighbor was ill. Or a student checking the data base for the health situation of her fellow students.

An intriguing result of the CBP was also that they found that the hospitals are actually able to protect data of their patients. The adequately protected data is of patients who are on the Board of the hospital or who are VIP’s.
CBP concludes that if the 9 hospitals are failing in protecting the privacy and intimacy of their customers, all hospitals in the Netherlands will have a similar failing system.

It is this kind of news that should be shocking because it undermines confidence. Many people believe in the integrity of doctors and now they must conclude that this beautiful opinion has to be reversed.
Instead a doctor must be distrust or you must not mind basically anybody might know of your illness. 

1 comment:

Didje-Michel Goldsteen said...

Doctors perhaps love Socrates, but swear an oath to Hippocrates