Medicine: Private Lives

Protecting patient records

While recuperating from an operation for prostate cancer, a middle-aged Chicago machinist learns that a loan company is inquiring among his neighbors whether he can ever work again. In Hartford, Conn., a recent college graduate hears that she has been rejected for a teaching job by a private school because it has somehow found out that her mother is under psychiatric care. In New York City, women who have registered for abortions at a private clinic are besieged by phone calls from right-to-life advocates trying to dissuade them.

These typical cases represent violations of one of medicine's sacred trusts: the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!