alexa Privacy Concerns in a Surgical Environment | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2155-9627

Journal of Clinical Research & Bioethics
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Review Article

Privacy Concerns in a Surgical Environment

Kathryn L. Howe1 and Mark Bernstein2*

1Department of Surgery, McMaster University, Division of General Surgery, Hamilton, Canada

2Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Division of Neurosurgery, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada

*Corresponding Author:
Mark Bernstein
Department of Surgery, University of Toronto
Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network
399 Bathurst Street, 4W451, Toronto, Ontario M5T 2S8, Canada
Tel: (416) 603-6499
Fax: (416) 603-5298
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: June 11, 2013; Accepted date: July 25, 2013; Published date: August 07, 2013

Citation: Howe KL, Bernstein M (2013) Privacy Concerns in a Surgical Environment. J Clin Res Bioeth 4:150. doi: 10.4172/2155-9627.1000150

Copyright: © 2013 Howe KL, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


With the advent of electronic communication and use of technology in healthcare, patient privacy has become a greater concern as we weigh the utility of efficient processes against patient rights. At the root of all bioethical dilemmas lie patient autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Surgical patients must weave through a more complex and intimate healthcare system where they are particularly vulnerable given the physical exposure, anaesthesia, and open concept design of the perioperative environments. As a result, all domains of privacy require protection – physical, psychological, social, and information. Here we present a case scenario illustrating the potential privacy concerns facing a surgical patient through various points of contact within this unique system and discuss the literature surrounding what is known regarding privacy in these contexts.


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