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27th August, 2017
Right to information vis-à-vis right to privacy
Dr KK Aggarwal
Until this week, right to privacy was only inferred from the Article 21 “Protection of Life and Personal Liberty” of our constitution and not recognized as a fundamental right or guaranteed by the constitution. But, the judgement of the Supreme Court of India on August 24 (Thursday) has now granted the right to privacy as a fundamental right. It's a historic judgement, which may well redefine what information can be accessed and how information can be used.

The Right to Information (RTI) Act was enacted in 2005 to make the citizens informed about the activities of the Government. Under the provisions of the Act, any citizen of India may request information "public authority", which is established, constituted, owned, controlled or substantially financed by funds provided directly or indirectly by the Govt (Central/State/UT). RTI mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information. This right to information includes right to obtain information and to disseminate that information.

Privacy of information gives a person control over his personal information including health information. He/she has the right to decide if as well as with who this information can be shared with.
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Stethoscopes can also harbor pathogens and lead to hospital-acquired infections
Lack of infection control guidelines and use of outdated technology are some possible reasons
New Delhi, 26 August 2017: As per recent statistics, hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) account for about 2 million cases and 80,000 deaths a year around the world. A study conducted has also found that the rate of HAIs and antimicrobial resistance were markedly higher in India. According to the IMA, one of the primary reasons for this is the overcrowding in hospitals in India thanks to the skewed doctor-patient ratio, which further results in lapses in basic hygiene protocols.
One of the most important instruments used by doctors, the stethoscope, also harbors pathogens. Some of these include Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Clostridium difficile, and vancomycin-resistant enterococci.
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