Protecting the Public and Our Physicians' Interests: A Proposal to Rectify Inconsistencies and Develop Guidelines on Physicians' Disclosure of Patients' Health Data to Third Parties in Thailand

Direksoonthorn, Khajorndej

This article argues for law reform in Thailand concerning the protection of health data, particularly laws involving the data’s disclosure to third parties. It has been found that several pieces of Thai legislation governing this area are conflicting, causing confusion and disquiet to Thai physicians. Recently, Parliament has enacted the Personal Data Protection Act 2019. The said GDPR-style Act should have clarified all already-existing confusion regarding the inconsistency of legislation, but it has further complicated the matter instead. Doctors cannot disclose patients’ health data to third parties, even to protect others or public interests. Court cases from other jurisdictions show that courts are willing to impose on physicians the duty to disclose patients’ health data to third parties under certain circumstances, which makes the issue more significant to the Thai legal and medical communities. The article provides proposals to rectify the issue by amending relevant statutes and calling for professional guidance on this area which should be addressed by pertinent legislation. The relevant professional guidelines alongside the amended legislation will serve the interests of medical professionals, patients, and society at large.

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Also Published In

Columbia Journal of Asian Law

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Published Here
August 29, 2022