Religious aspect of medical data
Millions of Catholic and Muslim patients could opt out of having electronic care records because their data may be used without explicit consent for research purposes contrary to their faiths, Pulse has learned.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has condemned as ‘unacceptable’ the Government’s proposals for a massive expansion in the use of patient records for research purposes.
Under the plans, currently being consulted upon, patients who have given implied consent for a Summary Care Record to be created for them will not be asked for further consent before their data is shared.
A spokesperson for Connecting for Health said: ‘Patients can say they do not want to have their records held for research – this would involve them making a formal request, under the Data Protection Act, for identifiable data to be removed on the grounds that its presence there causes distress and we would, of course, act on such a request.’