Taking advantage of its single-payer, universal insurance system, Taiwan has leveraged its exhaustive database of health claims data for research purposes. Researchers can apply to receive access to pseudonymized (coded) medical data about insured patients, notably their diagnoses, health status and treatments. In view of the strict safeguards implemented, the Taiwanese government considers that this research use does not require patients' consent (either in the form of an opt-in or in the form of an opt-out). A group of non-governmental organizations has challenged this view in the Taiwanese Courts, but to no avail. The present article reviews the arguments both against and in favor of patients' consent for re-use of their data in research. It concludes that offering patients an opt-out would be appropriate as it would best balance the important interests at issue.
- Government and law
- Public health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health