The automatic processing of medical data in Belgium: is the individual protected?


Medical data are collected, stored, transferred and used in Belgium as in many other western countries. Most of these countries have statutes for the protection of the individual with regard to (automatic) processing of medical data. Belgium, however, does not have such statutes or regulations. This article, firstly, describes briefly the processing of medical data on different levels in Belgium. It secondly illustrates the lack of personal medical data protection of the individual in Belgium. When more and more states started ratifying Council of Europe Convention No 108, the Belgian attitude was at times embarrassing. To make things worse, a Proposal for a Council Directive of 27 July 1990 has been published. The proposal, providing a deadline for the member states, aims at establishing throughout the community a high level of data protection on the basis of the internationally acknowledged principles of Convention No 108 and taking into account more recent national legislations in line with current technological developments. Special protection is provided for sensitive medical data. As said before, Belgium does not yet have legislation for medical data protection. There is, however, a draft concerning the protection of a person's data with regard to the processing of personal data. This draft, which might soon become law, is critically analysed, more particularly its protection of the individual in relation to the processing of medical data.

Cite this paper

@article{Callens1993TheAP, title={The automatic processing of medical data in Belgium: is the individual protected?}, author={Stefaan Callens}, journal={Medicine and law}, year={1993}, volume={12 1-2}, pages={55-9} }