Consent for publishing patient photographs - ScienceDirect
peter.suber's bookmarks 2020-04-12
"Academic medical journals that publish clinical studies or case reports may contain images from individual patients. In many cases, such as photographs, these permit patients to be identified. Twenty years ago, medical journals were available only in academic libraries, but nowadays almost all academic journals are available online and many use an open-access model of publishing, which means that the content is freely available. The use of licences such as the Creative Commons system (which is promoted by researchers, funders, policy makers and patient groups) also permits reuse of material, including images, on any other platform, which might include republication of patient photographs in a totally different context . For example, the CCBY licence allows anybody to reuse an image without permission, and for any purpose, so long as the source is acknowledged. Although clinicians and patients increasingly use the Internet to seek for medical information, it is not clear whether they are aware of the fact that, once published under a CCBY licence (unlike under traditional copyright laws), the reuse of a clinical photograph cannot be controlled. Although patients still have a high level of confidence in health professionals, the patient-doctor relationship has shifted from a paternalistic to a shared-decision model, in which health professionals have responsibility to provide the best information to patients to permit them to make an informed choice. This applies not only to treatment choices, but also to participation in research, and to the publication of individual photographs. Therefore, journals should have clear policies and provide guidance for authors to respect essential ethical principles to preserve patients' privacy, confidentiality and anonymity, and editors should make sure that those policies are implemented. Patients' consent for the publication of any individual images should be given freely and be based on appropriate information about how the images may be used. In addition, authors and editors must follow legal requirements such as the recently implemented EU directive (GDPR) requiring strict patient data protection...."
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