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Hippocrates was hip on HIPAA Privacy long before it was in vogue!

Hippocrates was hip on HIPAA“Whatsoever things I see or hear concerning the life of men, in my attendance on the sick or even apart therefrom, which ought not to be noised abroad, I will keep silence thereon, counting such things to be as sacred as secrets.”

— Hippocratic Oath, 4th Century, B.C.E.

Now 46 states in the US have enacted privacy regulations.  The AICPA provides a wealth of information on these state laws that we wish to share with you.  The idea of a right to privacy was first addressed within a legal context in the United States. 

Louis Brandeis (later a Supreme Court justice) and another young lawyer, Samuel D. Warren, published an article called ‘The Right to Privacy’ in the Harvard Law Review in 1890 arguing that the constitution and the common law allowed for the deduction of a general “right to privacy”.  Their project was never entirely successful, and the renowned tort expert Dean Prosser argued that “privacy” was composed of four separate torts, the only unifying element of which was a (vague) “right to be left alone.”These elements were:

  1. appropriating the plaintiff’s identity for the defendant’s benefit
  2. placing the plaintiff in a false light in the public eye
  3. publicly disclosing private facts about the plaintiff
  4. unreasonably intruding upon the seclusion or solitude of the plaintiff

Clearly the trend for greater protections to individuals is gaining momentum.  HIPAA Privacy and Security and now Breach Notification regulations may seem new to many organizations, but the concepts and principles go far back in history.

Bob Chaput

CEO at Clearwater Compliance
Bob is the CEO and Founder of Clearwater Compliance. He has 25 years of experience in the Healthcare industry, and his experience includes managing some of the world’s largest HR, benefits and healthcare databases, requiring the highest levels of security and privacy. Mr. Chaput continues to expand and update his knowledge base on HIPAA-HITECH compliance through postgraduate study, earning professional certifications and participating in professional healthcare and other organizations.
 
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