Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Privacy, Surveillance, and Medical Information

Hey there everyone. I know it's been two weks, but I have been kind of hiding out offline for the moment - reasons to be divulged later. Anyway, this NY Times Op-Ed Column: Privacy in Retreat, by William Safire, did make me sit up and take notice: I knew about the partial-birth abortion bill and the related medical records subpoena, but it had kind of fallen off my news radar for a bit. I am really concerned about this - and about the program described in the quote below:

"This intrusion [subpoena of medical records in the partial-birht abortion challenge] cannot be justified by a claim to protect the nation from a terror attack. In Pittsburgh, however, the F.B.I. has set up a pilot Strategic Medical Intelligence unit under that very rubric. Doctors in Pennsylvania and West Virginia are expected to notify S.M.I. bioterror experts of any 'suspicious event,' from an unusual rash to a finger lost in an explosion, identifying but not informing the patient."


I'm glad I don't live in PA anymore.

Safire's final analysis: "A balance must be struck between protecting all of us and protecting each one of us. I don't trust Justice or the C.I.A. to strike that balance. I have more faith in the courts and Congress, and — if he would remember his stand on personal freedom — in George W. Bush."

Perhaps, but at this juncture, Bush hasn't been a great champion of privacy and personal freedom, now has he?

- posted by laurie @ 3/10/2004 05:09:00 AM
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