Guidelines for Protecting Patient Privacy in the Society Meeting Presentations and Medical Papers, including Case Reports

Guidelines for Protecting Patient Privacy in the Society Meeting Presentations and Medical Papers, including Case Reports

When medical care is being provided, protecting patient privacy is an important responsibility that is expected of medical professionals. In medical research, case reports have contributed to progress in medicine and medical care, and have played an important role in improving people's health and welfare. Medical papers and case reports presented at society meetings and workshops often contain information about specific patient disorders and treatments. On such occasions, care must be taken to protect privacy so that patients will not be identified.

The following guidelines, adopted by the Council of Surgical Associations, pertain to the protection of patient privacy in medical papers, including case reports, and academic presentations given at society meetings:

(1) Do not indicate a name, hospital admission number, initials, or nickname that can identify an individual patient.

(2) Do not indicate a patient's address. If, however, the location where the disease or ailment originated is related to the patient's condition, the general area may be indicated (such as Kanagawa Prefecture or the Yokohama City).

(3) The date is often necessary in order to understand the clinical progress (of a disease); therefore, if it is determined that the individual cannot be identified, the date indicated can be as specific as the year and month.

(4) Do not indicate the name of the hospital department if a patient can be identified by comparing the department with other information.

(5) If a patient has already been diagnosed and treated at another hospital, do not indicate the institution's name and location. However, this will not apply if stating the original hospital before the patient was transferred is essential for emergency medical care or similar situation.

(6) When showing a face photo, conceal the eyes. For eye ailments, use an enlarged photo of the eye only, where the face cannot be identified.

(7) Delete numbers, etc. from biopsies, autopsies, and image information that can identify a case.

(8) If an individual can still be identified even after the aforementioned steps have been taken, either obtain consent for the presentation from the patient himself/herself (or surviving family members or agent, or parent/guardian if patient is a child), or obtain approval from the Ethics Committee.

(9) For case reports that involve hereditary disease and human genome/genetic analysis, comply with the provisions of the "Ethical Guidelines for Human Genome/Gene Analysis Research" (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, March 29, 2001) (amended in full on December 28, 2004, amended in part on June 29, 2005, and amended in part on December 1, 2008).

April 6, 2004
(Amended in part on December 2, 2009)

Council of Surgical Associations Member Societies Japan Surgical Society
Japan Broncho-Esophagological Society
Japanese Association for Acute Medicine
Japanese Association for Thoracic Surgery
Japan Society for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Japanese Association for Chest Surgery
Japanese Society of Gastroenterological Surgery
Japanese Society of Pediatric Surgeons
Japanese Society for Cardiovascular Surgery
Japan Society of Coloproctology
Japan Association of Endocrine Surgery
Japanese Society of Anesthesiologists
Societies that Approve of these Guidelines Japanese Society of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery
Japanese Society for Vascular Surgery
Japan Laryngological Association
Japan Society for Respiratory Endoscopy
Japanese Breast Cancer Society
Japanese Society for Abdominal Emergency Medicine
June 4, 2004 Japanese Gastric Cancer Association
June 24, 2004 Japan Esophageal Society
September 21, 2004 Japanese Orthopaedic Association
August 1, 2005 Japanese Society for Surgery of the Hand
August 20, 2005 Japanese Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
September 7, 2005 Japanese Association for the Surgery of Trauma
December 14, 2005 Japanese Society for Burn Injuries, Japanese Society of Aesthetic Dermatology
December 16, 2005 Japan Society of Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery
December 19, 2005 Japanese Hip Society
December 28, 2005 Japanese Society for Cutaneous Immunology and Allergy
January 27, 2006 Japan Elbow Society
March 24, 2006 Western Japan Division of JDA
May 15, 2006 Central Japan Association of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology
July 21, 2006 Japan Biliary Association
August 3, 2006 Japanese Orthopaedic Society of Knee, Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine
August 25, 2006 Eastern Japan Association of Orthopaedics and Traumatology
September 6, 2006 Japanese Society of Intensive Care Medicine
November 13, 2006 Japanese Society for Helicobacter Research
December 8, 2006 Japanese Society for Surgical Metabolism and Nutrition
May 11, 2007 Japanese Society for the Study of Low Back Pain
July 9, 2007 Japan Lung Cancer Society
December 4, 2007 Japan Pancreas Society
December 20, 2007 Japan Surgical Association
September 15, 2009 Japanese Society of Gastroenterology
November 12, 2009 Japanese Society of Gastrointestinal Cancer Screening
December 25, 2009 Japan Society for Portal Hypertension
January 5, 2010 Tokai Division of Japanese Dermatological Association
May 11, 2010 Japanese Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition