Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Dangers of Computerized Medical Records

For years, gun owners have understood the dangers of gun permit databases. We have understood that such a database can be used to identify guns in the event that the powers that be decide that they no longer trust the populace with guns and decide to confiscate them. So far we've been lucky, nobody has trolled CHL databases or NICS databases or Gun Permit databases to confiscate them...yet.

But now the government has opened a new front on the attack on personal freedom and privacy. Part of the Obamacare bill mandated the creation and use of a national electronic medical records database that would be accessible by any medical provider at any time from any place. That alone should have scared you to the core, but just in case it did not, now the North Carolina Sheriffs are demanding access to your prescription records. They want the names and addresses of every person that has ever been prescribed a Schedule IV narcotic. Additionally they want the names of doctors who prescribe them and the names of pharmacies that fill them. Why? Well the stated purpose is to crack down on the illegal use of prescription painkillers. But what they are missing is any presumption of innocence, or any right to privacy, which violates both the fifth as well as the fourteenth amendments. Disclosing this data to non-medical personnel is a violation of HIPAA, as well as the legal precept of doctor/patient privilege.

If this happens, what is next? The names of people who have contracted HIV or other STD's (because they obviously work in or partake of the sex trade)? The names of people with high cholesterol and triglycerides (because they obviously can't stop eating fatty foods and are running the costs of health care up)? People with emphysema (because they obviously smoke)? People with high levels of lead in their system (because they obviously handle ammunition a lot)?

Where does it end? Hopefully here and now before it is too late.

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