The sense of shame is part of human nature. What, then, is the role and significance of such a particular sensation, one that causes mental anxiety in a sick person’s weakest and the most vulnerable state? We know from historical documents going back as far as ancient Greece and Egypt that respecting patient privacy should be regarded as a moral duty for physicians in charge of treatment. However much today’s healthcare may have changed compared to centuries past, we note that patient privacy has not lost its importance. In the current healthcare system, digital recording of private information and images enables others, in principle, to access these personal data quite easily. While we cannot reject the advantages offered by modern medicine, we need to consider how to design a healthcare system that respects patient privacy. What should be the standards of privacy in emergency services where urgent decisions and interventions have to be made? How should we guarantee patient privacy during medical education? The chapters of this book approach questions like these from the perspectives of different disciplines. The writings illustrate the increasing complexity of patient privacy issues in modern healthcare systems, particularly the growing difficulty to protect confidential data. At the same time, we can observe that patients are becoming more aware of their rights and their sensitivity in this area has increased. In our opinion, an approach that requires us to choose between the two values –health and privacy – would be wrong. Therefore, the question we should focus on is: -what kind of healthcare system should be developed to ensure the greatest respect for humans’ natural right to privacy?- If we want to answer this question and find sustainable solutions for these problems, it is crucial to use a multidisciplinary approach. From this perspective, the present volume is a first contribution to be published in Turkey to pursue this aim, including articles offered from various disciplines.
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