Privacy and Confidentiality
One of the oldest and most important values in the health professions is often the first mentioned in enumerations of ethical issues arising in the use of health information technology. Privacy is of extraordinary importance, but it often arises in concert with other ethical issues, some of which are at least as important. In the previous section, for instance, I noted the role of patient consent for certain kinds of data uses. Privacy and informed consent are inextricably linked, and you could argue that consent is of greater importance because with it you can allow information to be shared and used widely. In any event, privacy occupies an important, if noisy, place in public debate and the law.