From Hippocrates to HIPAA: Privacy and Confidentiality in Emergency Medicine – Part I: Conceptual, Moral, and Legal Foundations

Part 1: Respect for patient privacy and confidentiality is an ancient and contemporary professional responsibility of physicians. This article outlines the basic concepts of privacy and confidentiality, reviews the moral and legal foundations and limits of these concepts, and highlights federal privacy regulations implemented under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.