American Journal of Law & Medicine

Preface: Electronic Medical Information: Privacy, Liability and Quality Issues.

This symposium issue explores the timely topic of health care information and information technology, and their impact on health care delivery. The potential for mischief in this area has been the subject of many a dire prediction, but documented instances of negligence or abuse are thus far relatively rare. As information technology becomes more and more sophisticated and pervasive, however, legal problems are increasingly possible--if not probable--and these articles examine a wide range of issues related to the phenomenon.

Paul Starr's lead article, adapted from the First Annual Justice Louis Brandeis Privacy Lecture, offers a broad overview of the ongoing congressional debate over health privacy legislation to control access to medical records and health data. He acknowledges the need to restrict access to personal medical information, but advocates legislation that will not limit access for legitimate research intended to improve public health. …

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