Intended for healthcare professionals


Concerns about privacy in research may be exaggerated

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 11 September 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:706
  1. Martin Tondel, doctor (,
  2. Olav Axelson, professor
  1. Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Department of Health and Environment, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, 581 85 Linköping, Sweden

    EDITOR—The risk of misusing electronic patient records has been pointed out,1 and there is also justified professional concern about privacy in medical research. We have enrolled 1.14 million people in a register based cancer study in the seven counties of Sweden that were most contaminated after the Chernobyl accident.

    According to the permit from the responsible authority (the Data Inspection Board), we had to inform the public in these counties because of the principle of informed consent. …

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