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Internists address dual concerns of privacy and protection of health data
Date:10/18/2011

(Washington) Fears about re-uses of personal data as well as re-uses of research data and samples are the focus of a policy paper released today by the American College of Physicians (ACP). The new document, which is an update of a paper produced by ACP two years ago, adds a policy position regarding research. It proposes a privacy rule that says researchers should maximize appropriate uses of information to achieve scientific advances without compromising ethical obligations to protect individual welfare and privacy.

The release of Health Information Technology & Privacy comes eight days before the close of the comment period for the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) of Human Subjects Research Protections: Enhancing Protections for Research Subjects and Reducing Burden, Delay, and Ambiguity for Investigators. The proposed changes, which will be highlighted in ACP's ANPRM comments, are designed to strengthen protections for human research subjects.

"While coming changes did not prompt this paper, its production and release are turning out to be quite timely," noted Virginia L. Hood, MBBS, MPH, FACP, president of ACP. "The paper suggests revisions to the current regulations, which are now being considered because the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) believes these changes will strengthen protections for research subjects in a number of important ways."

In its 15-page policy paper, ACP proposes 13 policy positions to guide the development of the comprehensive framework. The new policy position, number 4, says:

New Position 4: Regarding research, a revised privacy rule should maximize appropriate uses of information to achieve scientific advances without compromising ethical obligations to protect individual welfare and privacy.

A. Participation in prospective clinical research requires fully informed and transparent consent that discloses all potential uses of PHI and IIHI, and an explanation of
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Contact: David Kinsman
dkinsman@acponline.org
202-261-4554
American College of Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

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