United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) 1948, Article 12: “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.” International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 1966, Article 17: “1. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home, or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honor or reputation. 2. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”
It is an unimpeachable fact that the world went through complete mayhem overnight due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The wheel of the economy was completely paralyzed in all countries of the world, global stock markets collapsed and the price of a barrel of American oil fell below zero, for the first time in history, due to the repercussions of the global closure resulting from the virus. The world started to apply restrictive measures to contain the plague, including social distancing, the matter which adversely impacted the general psychological state in the world.
Amid those events, new cases of coronavirus infection increased among the world, as they exceeded twenty-seven million infections and more than nine hundred thousand death toll -which caused chaos among the global medical community due to the rapid spread of the epidemic and the lack of providing medical supplies needed to combat it. Medical teams around the world have yet to come up with a vaccine to prevent this epidemic.
It is well noticed from the audiovisual media across the globe and social media that there is lack of privacy to the news regarding the infected patients and their medical data, notably, if they are confirmed to be infected. Sometimes, their identity is revealed by their names and photos. In some cases, one would ponder, if it is permissible to reveal the identity of the person who is infected with the virus, including revealing his name, photo and personal data?
- The issue of the electronic medical record (EHR) has also raised many questions about the medical privacy of patients with the spread of the new corona pandemic, especially with the spread of the idea of the electronic medical record in most countries and the ability of that record and the data it contains to violate publication and circulation quickly.
- The spread of the new Corona epidemic also showed the effectiveness and success of the idea of telemedicine which in turn seriously contributed to limiting the spread of the virus, but it also contributed at the same time to the possibility of violating the medical privacy of patients from Through the means of communication between the treating physician and the institution of care and between the person receiving treatment.
- We will try to answer all these questions, with the help of what the comparative legislation has concluded in this regard.
El-Masry, Judge Dr. Samir Hosny
"Privacy of Patients’ medical Data under the Corona Pandemic: A Comparative Study,"
UAEU Law Journal: Vol. 2022:
92, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uaeu.ac.ae/sharia_and_law/vol2022/iss92/7