The Spanish Government approves the right to be forgotten for cancer patients through a Royal Decree

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The Spanish Government approves the right to be forgotten for cancer patients through a Royal Decree

The Spanish Government approves the right to be forgotten for cancer patients through a Royal Decree

The Spanish Government approves the right to be forgotten for cancer patientes, a legal concept that refers to the right individuals have to request the erasure of personal information and data related to them, as outlined in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The purpose of this right is to protect privacy and intimacy, particularly when such information is outdated, irrelevant, or inaccurate.

What is the right to be forgotten for cancer patients?

The right to be forgotten for oncological patients is the right for individuals not to have their history of cancer taken into account in different situations, such as when applying for life insurance or requesting a loan.

This right ensures that these individuals do not have to justify their medical history and prevents them from facing discrimination.

In the context of oncology, the right to oncological oblivion could have significant implications. When a person has overcome a disease like cancer, they may wish for certain information related to their diagnosis and treatment to be removed or de-indexed from search engines and digital platforms.

This could be because such information is no longer relevant to their current situation, or because the disclosure of sensitive medical details could have a negative impact on their personal or even professional life.

It is true that people who have faced cancer have an increased risk of developing the disease again. However, it is unfair and inappropriate to judge them by a statistic or future possibility.

It is important to remember that beyond ethical issues, under the Spanish Constitution every individual deserves to be treated with equality and respect, so they should not be condemned or discriminated against because of a probability of recurrence of the disease.

Along these lines, the European Parliament in its Report on strengthening Europe in the fight against cancer stated that ‘whereas the goal of the Plan should not only be to fight against a crucial public health issue and to help patients live longer and better lives, but should also be to initiate a reduction in health inequalities and inequities and lower the social and economic burden of the disease; whereas the Commission should promote a patient-centred and citizens’ rights-based approach by integrating considerations of justice, sustainability, equity, solidarity, innovation and collaboration at the very core of the Plan [..] “.

What is covered by the Royal-Decree?

Last June 27, the Council of Ministers approved the Royal Decree-Law to support the Impact of War and other Situations of Vulnerability, which implemented the right to oncological oblivion among other initiatives established by the European Union.

With the approval of this measure, Spain has complied with the Resolution of the European Parliament of February 16, 2022, which urged to strengthen the fight against cancer through a global and coordinated strategy throughout Europe.

This Royal Decree directly affects consumer regulations and other complementary laws such as Law 50/1980 on Insurance Contracts.

The recently approved Royal Decree-Law represents an important milestone by establishing the “right to be forgotten for cancer patients” in the field of insurance and banking products for patients with these pathologies, once 5 years have elapsed since the end of treatment without relapse.

In this regard, the text includes the following provisions:

  • Any clause, stipulation, condition or agreement that excludes one of the parts from the contract due to having suffered from cancer shall be null and void.
  • Discrimination in the contracting of insurance based on the fact of having experienced an oncological pathology will be prohibited, including the obligation to declare an oncological history in order to subscribe a life insurance policy and the prohibition to consider oncological antecedents during this process.

These measures seek to protect the rights of cancer patients and promote greater equity in access to financial services and insurance, allowing individuals to overcome past challenges and plan for their future without their medical history being an obstacle.

At Letslaw by RSM we count lawyers specialized in Digital Law. We keep ourself updated with the regulations on the legal area so do not hesitate to contact us and we will put our experience at your disposal.

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