Exactly. The fear is actually quite justified too. Do we really think that, just because we eventually got over our fear of people with HIV, that there will never again be a disease that imparts significant social stigma? Not only that, but, if people have access to our records, they can make decisions behind our back.
Didn't get that job? Was it because of your medical record? They aren't going to tell you. If they did give you a reason, you would be daft to believe they told the truth.
Lets also not forget, a lot of this is similar to the FISA courts: it doesn't exist because some academic had an argument....it came about because of abuses. My mother and I both have worked at a major hospital; her in a clinical setting, me in IT.
The SINGLE most common reason for a person to get fired, not 20 years ago, but TODAY, is still unauthorized access to medical records. People look up celebrities, people look up their friends, look up their family members, look up their neighbors....and these are trained professionals with access to the system who have been told not to do it; and warned that the system is being audited.
Thing is, the audits came about because they found this was rampant. Princess Di came in for treatment once. The number of people who looked up her records just for their own curiosity was alarming. That is the sort of thing that started it, not just that but, people have lost jobs over illnesses. People have felt violated when their private medical details ended up the gossip of the town.
Sure, thats the real problem. Nobody should have to be ashamed of their medical condition, no condition really deserves stigma. Until that stigma is gone and people feel safe talking voluntarily, I am very much against taking their choice as to whether they let the world know away.
I talk freely about my own medical issues, but.... thats my choice. I will tell you I sleep with a CPAP machine, or about the lump I just had removed from my face. I feel no shame either. However, if you came up to me and told me that you read it in my medical records, you had better be my doctor, or else you better hope I can compose myself before I punch you.