When it Comes to Medical Privacy,
Notification is Not Equal to Consent
By Sue Blevins
June 8, 2002
I don't doubt for a moment that the Secretary of the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) understands
the difference between consent and notification when
it comes to parental control over children's health
care. I'm sure Secretary Tommy Thompson realizes that
asking parents for permission before a public school
physician conducts a vaginal exam on an 11-year-old
girl is quite different from simply notifying the parents
that such an exam is going to take place. The consent
policy gives parents full control over their children's
health care, while, in contrast, a notification policy
denies such control.
Yet, in rewriting the federal medical privacy rule,
HHS is claiming that notification is equal to or better
than consent. How bizarre!
If the administration changes the privacy rule as
proposed, each citizen's medical records will be freely
shared with health insurance companies, doctors, hospitals,
and medical data-processing companies without his or
her consent. This is a major shift in health-care ethics.
It's probably one of this country's biggest government
power grabs ever.
This following link provides a "questions
and answers" summary about the federal medical
privacy rule. I strongly encourage you to tell others--your
family, friends, the media, and policymakers--about
the medical privacy information posted at this Web site.
I truly believe that once the American people discover
how the privacy rule will affect their lives, they will
care greatly about this issue.
The Institute for Health Freedom is pleased that we've
been able to provide you and others with the critical
information posted at this Web site. We hope you will
put it to good use!
|The consent policy gives parents
full control over their children's health care,
while in contrast a notification policy denies