We live in an Information Age and enjoy its benefits, but we believe that our basic right to privacy and our personal liberties should not be compromised by the advent of new technologies. We expect Government, business and anyone else holding our personal information to treat it with care. We believe that our information should be used only for the purposes for which it was provided. We consider it proper that it should be collected from us directly rather than from third parties, and that it should not be disclosed to anyone else either without our consent or with good reason. We place particular importance on protecting certain types of personal information - especially our personal health information. Accordingly, the focus of this book is on raising awareness of the legal and practical issues involved in managing and protecting personal information in the modern Irish healthcare system and beyond. It is a starting point for an informed public debate on the extent to which traditional relationships between patients and their healthcare providers may need to be redefined, especially in terms of concepts such as privacy, confidentiality and security.
"Protecting Personal Health Information in Ireland: Law & Practice" was prepared as part of the National General Practice Information Technology Group's efforts to promote greater awareness of information management and privacy issues in the Irish health system.