August 27, 1997

Patient Consent for Publication and the Health of the Public

Author Affiliations

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga.

JAMA. 1997;278(8):624-626. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550080034018

THE STATEMENT "Protection of Patients' Rights to Privacy," which was agreed on by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) and published in the BMJin November 19951 is well intentioned but raises a number of issues and potential problems for clinical medicine and public health.

See also pp 628 and 682.  The statement, which is now included in the ICMJE Uniform Requirements,2 is quoted verbatim and in toto as follows:Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that the patient be shown the manuscript to be published.Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential, but patient data