COME TO THE LIGHT, EDWARD
has long been one of our favorite reads, and not just because he was the first Blog to link to us. (Well, maybe it’s kinda because of that, but not primarily.) Sadly, Ted
has yet to see the light in the Medical Privacy Rules debate, and in fact is still supporting
the new Bush
makes three basic points in support of the new Medical Privacy Rules. The first is a bit of a red herring, and easily disposed of. Ted
maintains that in the case of a medical emergency, the current laws would prevent an ER doctor from examining the patient’s records without the patient’s permission. So, if the patient were unconscious, he couldn’t give his permission…etc. In that sort of situation, legislation and judicial decisions all support a doctor doing everything possible to save a patient. If the patient can’t tell the doctor NOT to look at the records, then the doctor legally could examine the records if he felt it would help the patient.
But as Ted
points out, this is, for the most part, meaningless as a patient’s record’s aren’t available to be transferred immediately to, say, an ER. Yet.
’s second reason to support the new rules is that the patient may fill out a few less forms. Make no mistake; there WILL be forms to be filled out, but maybe 6 less. Hardly a reason to give up personal rights, we think.
The third point is the sale of the info. Ted
has a source
that says they can’t sell the info, and we have a source
that says they can. Frankly, we are looking for more info, but as of now, we don’t know who is right.
But, the point Ted
seems to be missing is that these new rules mean LESS
privacy for us. Ted
may have no problem with his medical records being transferred from his hospital, to his HMO, to his insurance agent, to his employer; to his…well you get the idea. And, make no mistake about it; these records will make the rounds. But, what if somebody didn’t want his or her personal medical information possibly ending up on The Smoking Gun
? Well, he’s outta luck now.
is also missing what exactly we are talking about. Medical records are far more than forms, and charts, and x-rays. They contain everything your doctor ever wrote down. They contain the information of an abortion a wife kept secret from her husband. They contain information of a doctor “suspecting” a wife was being beaten by her husband. They contain information that flat out doesn’t need to be on some bureaucrat’s desk at some HMO in South Dakota
if the patient doesn’t want it to.
, less privacy for citizens may help streamline our visit to the hospital (and that’s debatable), but at what cost?