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Patients' Rights to Privacy and Anonymity 

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Annette Flanagin

UPDATE: We will discontinue using quotation marks to identify parts of an article, but retain the capitalization; eg, This is discussed in the Methods section (not the “Methods” section). This change was made February 14, 2013. Privacy is a state or condition of limited access to matters of a personal nature, including but not limited to personal information, as well as an individual’s right to control such access. When individuals grant others some form of access to themselves (eg, during a patient-clinician encounter), the individuals are exercising their right to privacy, but they are not waiving this right. Thus, a

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