Table 10: TB and the Right to Privacy

Examples of Human Rights Violations

  • Information about a patient’s TB status is disclosed
Human Rights Standards Treaty Body Interpretation
ICCPR 17(1) No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation. None.

Other Interpretations 

Recommendations to ensure the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis in undocumented migrants (Int’l Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 2008):
Recommendation 1. Health authorities and/or health staff should: a) ensure easy access to low-threshold facilities where undocumented migrants who are tuberculosis suspects can be diagnosed and treated without giving their names and without fear of being reported to the police or migration officials, b) remind health staff that they have an obligation to respect confidentiality.

Patients’ Charter for Tuberculosis Care (World Care Council, 2006):
Confidence. The right to have personal privacy, dignity, religious beliefs, and culture respected. The right to have information relating to the medical condition kept confidential and released to other authorities contingent upon the patient’s consent.