Friday, January 30, 2009

WHAT Right to Privacy?

Back in the day, a controversial Supreme Court decision turned on the (presumed) Constitutional Right to Privacy. Apparently, someone forgot to inform the new administration of this Right (irony notwithstanding), because buried in the new Stimulus Package is this little gem:
Privacy experts are a bit miffed at this (no surprise) because, in addition to the "normal" aches and pains, these records will include "documentation on abortions, mental health problems, impotence, being labeled as a non-compliant patient, lawsuits against doctors and sexual problems."
We've discussed the viability and advisability of electronic medical record keeping before, but always from the provider's standpoint, and always with an eye toward respecting and protecting the patient's privacy and integrity. This seems to be a giant leap beyond all that; given the gummint's less than stellar record regarding safe-keeping, I think this is -- at best -- worrisome.
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