News & CommentClinical Research

Privacy Rules Set No New Research Curbs

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Science  19 Sep 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5333, pp. 1757
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5333.1757b

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Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala last week laid out a series of guidelines to protect the confidentiality of electronic and paper medical information. She specifically recommended that anyone who improperly discloses information, including researchers, be subject to criminal penalties, and that patients have the authority to sue violators of the rules for civil damages. For the most part, however, the proposals would leave existing controls on health records essentially unchanged.