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Re: MED-PRIVACY digest 140

  Just read Med-Privacy Digest 140.  I can identify myself as an occasional 
  patient, as a librarian with some interest in copyright and general 
  information issues, and as a citizen.  The only post in that digest with 
  any ring of validity to it is one from which I excerpt the following:
  ========= Begin included post ============
  The point is that a patient's record is as much a part of him or her as 
  an arm or leg
  or gall bladder or uterus.  It's owned, bought and paid for.  It belongs
  to the patient - not the doctor or HMO or insurance company.  And the
  decision about what to do about that record - who can look at it or use 
  for whatever purpose - should rest solely and squarely with the patient 
  an informed consent environment.  That seems to be not the case in 
  health care scene.  The patient is the LAST person who benefits from
  access to his or her own medical records.  We are at 1984 twelve years
  down the pike and advancing rapidly toward a world where no one can feel
  comfortable in his or her own private personhood.  So that's my 2 cents
  ============ End included post
  All of you, please listen!  You DON'T OWN that information!  You have no 
  independent right to dispose of it in any way whatsoever without the 
  patient's specific consent.  Try to step outside of the context of 
  liability and profit.  Look at the matter as a citizen in a nation of 
  free people.  I am neither a right-winger nor a left-winger (whatever 
  that means), but I do see clearly that without privacy, there is no 
  freedom.  I'm terrified at how seldom the issue is referred to in this 
  list.  I appeal to your consciences.
  Alan Lewis
  Teacher & Librarian