Pri­vacy, please

Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Letters -

Re: “Supreme Court strikes down Vt. data-min­ing reg­u­la­tion,” Mod­ern Health­, June 23: Where is the pa­tient’s free speech? I don’t want my health in­for­ma­tion to be shared with any­one ex­cept my doc­tors and for pay­ment pur­poses.

HIPAA has given away the pa­tient’s right to pri­vacy by al­low­ing ac­cess for data min­ers. What if a pa­tient has cer­tain re­li­gious be­liefs and doesn’t want his in­for­ma­tion (de-iden­ti­fied or not) to be used in cer­tain com­mer­cial or aca­demic re­search that may con­flict with his be­liefs? I feel like phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies will use my health in­for­ma­tion to ul­ti­mately mo­ti­vate doc­tors to sell me ridicu­lously ex­pen­sive med­i­ca­tion. I’m tired of pa­ter­nal­is­tic or­ga­ni­za­tions and the gov­ern­ment say­ing that they have in­ter­est in my health in­for­ma­tion only be­cause they know what is best for me. I’m at the point that I’m very tempted to stop go­ing to the doc­tor. That’s the only way to pre­vent my health in­for­ma­tion from be­ing sold and sup­plied to re­searchers, mar­ket­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pa­nies and any other en­tity look­ing to make a buck off of my data.

Sherrie Drye Can­noy As­sis­tant pro­fes­sor, busi­ness ed­u­ca­tion North Carolina Agri­cul­tural & Tech­ni­cal State Univer­sity Greens­boro

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