Medical research organisations believe that medical records hold valuable information that could help save and improve the lives of others helping to contribute towards understanding the causes of disease, developing new and better medicines and identifying new outbreaks of infection. Yet this positive outlook is contested by privacy campaigners and commentators who have painted the new move as government backed intrusion into our privacy on an unprecedented scale.
A panel of experts came to the SMC to explain why they are launching a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of sharing data from patient records and why they argue that the benefits far outweigh inflated privacy concerns.
Dr Peter Weissberg – British Heart Foundation
Professor Liam Smeeth – Head of the Department of Non-Communicable Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Richard Stephens – cancer patient
Dr John Parkinson – Director, Clinical Practice Research