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What does the government say about our right to medical privacy and our rights to make personal medical decisions about our bodies? See also the Legislation sections and Children's Rights sections for stories on minor's medical privacy issues and rights.

Justices to hear assisted suicide case
"The Supreme Court is revisiting the emotionally charged issue of physician-assisted suicide in a test of the federal government's power to block doctors from helping terminally ill patients end their lives."
Full story - CNN
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 08:47:24 EDT 2005

Here Comes John Roberts, There Goes Roe v. Wade (opinion)
"... Practical types probably don't harbor many illusions about Roberts. This is a man, after all, who supported a memorial service for aborted fetuses as "an entirely appropriate means of calling attention to the abortion tragedy.""
Full story - Village Voice
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 29 14:10:09 EDT 2005

ID Chip Helps Morgue Track Katrina Victims
"As body counts mounted and missing-person reports multiplied in the days after Hurricane Katrina, some morgue workers began using a new technology to keep track of unidentified remains. Radio frequency identification chips - slender red cylinders about half an inch long - were implanted under the corpses' skin or placed inside body bags."
Full story - TBO
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 28 08:11:18 EDT 2005

Limbaugh's doctors sought in probe
"Prosecutors want to question Rush Limbaugh's physicians in their probe of the conservative commentator's possible "doctor shopping" for prescription painkillers, according to a motion filed Tuesday."
Full story - CNN
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 28 08:09:18 EDT 2005

Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood: A Matter of Women%92s Health (Press Release)
"... A decision in Ayotte, however, could reach far beyond teenagers in New Hampshire. In accepting the case, the Court agreed to consider two questions, each of great import. First, must abortion restrictions include exceptions to protect women's health? And second, what legal standard must courts apply when evaluating the constitutionality of abortion laws?"
Full story - ACLU
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 15:00:33 EDT 2005

Germany tests electronic health data card
"T-Systems International GmbH, the IT services arm of Deutsche Telekom AG, is collaborating with a German health care and insurance group to test electronic health cards ahead of a government mandate to introduce the technology next year."
Full story - ComputerWorld
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 14:58:49 EDT 2005

Wellness programs raise issues on privacy
"... These so-called wellness programs start by asking employees to fill out health risk assessments, including information such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure and family history of heart disease. But do they risk being penalized with higher health insurance premiums if they don't stop smoking or control their diabetes?"
Full story - (reg. req.)
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 08:29:26 EDT 2005

Supreme Court may hear abortion case
"The Bush administration has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate a ban on a procedure that critics call "partial birth" abortions, setting up a showdown that could be decided by the president's new choice for the court."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 26 15:08:05 EDT 2005

Blood test becomes privacy battleground
"LIKE almost all newborn Australians, four-day-old Luke Cecil Lawless had a tiny drop of blood taken to screen for a host of inherited disorders. His mother, Tonia Lawless, was happy to give permission for the blood test, unaware that Guthrie screening had become the next battleground in the privacy debate."
Full story - The Australian
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 24 10:50:41 EDT 2005

Drug data for Katrina evacuees now online
"... The site,, which became available nationwide today, is for health care professionals caring for people displaced by the natural disaster. A coalition of more than 150 organizations, including the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Markle Foundation, first made the tool available to physicians along the Gulf Coast."
Full story - Government Health IT
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 22 19:02:22 EDT 2005

Senator clear of abortion file breach
"NO ACTION will be taken against anti-abortion senator Julian McGauran for disclosing personal information about a woman who had a late-term abortion at 32 weeks."
Full story - The Age
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 20 16:59:19 EDT 2005

Thousands of health records stolen from Palo Alto agency
"A backup tape containing the names, Social Security numbers and detailed health information of as many as 6,000 current and former clients of the Children's Health Council was stolen from the nonprofit agency's offices, officials confirmed Sunday."
Full story - SignOnSanDiego
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 19 11:15:23 EDT 2005

Broken lives, broken system
"Family of murder victim says notification of his release from psychiatric ward might have saved him..."
Full story - Mail Tribune
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Sep 18 11:26:44 EDT 2005

Under Din of Abortion Debate, an Experience Shared Quietly
"... While public conversation about abortion is dominated by advocates with all-or-nothing positions - treating the fetus as a complete person, with full rights, or as a nonentity, with none - most patients at the clinic, like most Americans, found themselves on rockier ground, weighing religious, ethical, practical, sentimental and financial imperatives that were often in conflict."
Full story - NY Times
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Sep 18 11:20:16 EDT 2005

U.S. Policy on Medicare Cards Is a Boon for Identity Thieves
"... Whenever they see a doctor or go to the pharmacy, however, they must present Medicare cards inscribed with their Social Security numbers - numbers widely viewed as the keys to identify theft. Photocopies of the cards are routinely attached to their medical records, making the information available to anyone with access to their files."
Full story - L.A. Times
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 17 12:01:49 EDT 2005

Kaiser apologizes by mail for privacy breach
"Kaiser Permanente members who still have copies of their Rocky Mountain Health summer issue should destroy that mailing label. That's the advice in a letter sent this month by Kaiser Permanente, the state's third-largest health plan, informing members that their member ID numbers were accidentally included on the mailing label for the quarterly member magazine."
Full story - Rocky Mountain News
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 17 11:25:14 EDT 2005

Electronic medical-records plan raises fears
"A federal panel selected to make recommendations to the government about how best to convert paper medical records to electronic format is being criticized for having no privacy advocates as commissioners."
Full story - World Net Daily
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 17 11:06:13 EDT 2005

Gingrich: 'Paper kills,' electronic medical records save lives
"Hurricane Katrina has been the loudest wake-up call so far for the need for electronic health records (EHRs), according to some prominent policy figures."
Full story - Government Health IT
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 17 00:42:59 EDT 2005

Feds computerize private medical data
"Private medical information is being made available online for the first time from a federal government database, to help Hurricane Katrina victims.. Federal officials say only medical personnel at shelters and hospitals treating Katrina evacuees will have access to the information."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 14 13:38:36 EDT 2005

Other resources on HEALTH-RELATED PRIVACY:
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

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    FTC Brings Charges Against Company Flagged In CDT Complaint
    From The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it had brought charges against Odysseus Marketing, publisher of a software product called ClientMan. The Center for Democracy & Technology had first identified ClientMan as one ...
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    FaceTime Identifies Fake Google Toolbar Propagated Thru Instant Messaging and Internet Relay Chat
    FaceTime today warns users about malicious links being spread through instant messaging (IM) and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) which downloads a rogue, fake Google toolbar and adware on users machines and re-directs users to a ...
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    Want to check your e-mail in Italy? Bring your passport.
    ROME - An antiterror law makes Internet cafe managers check their clients' IDs and track the websites they visit... After Italy passed a new antiterrorism package in July, authorities ordered managers offering public communications ...
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    Start-up getting financing for fingerprint technology
    A San Francisco start-up, Pay By Touch Solutions, is expected to announce today $130 million in fresh financing for a novel way of paying for groceries and other goods and services: a machine that reads ...
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    Court strikes down bank privacy law
    Federal law trumps California's law restricting financial institutions from distributing information about their customers to affiliated businesses, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Tuesday...
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    FTC Targets Company Secretly Installing Spyware that Can't Be Uninstalled
    Odysseus Marketing and its principal, Walter Rines, advertised software they claimed would allow consumers to engage in peer-to-peer file sharing anonymously... The agency charges that the claims are bogus. First, the software does not make ...
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    Another data security bill in the works
    Rep. Mike Castle, a Delaware Republican, said at a Visa cardholder security conference here that he plans to introduce "in the next couple of days" a revised version of the bill that he has been ...
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    Government Cracks Down On Spyware Operation
    Government regulators are trying to shut down a company they say secretly downloaded spyware onto the computers of unwitting Internet users, rendering them helpless to a flood of pop-up ads, computer crashes and other annoyances...
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    Touch-screen voters feel exposed
    ... The Diebold machines - which will be installed at voting precincts throughout Utah by 2006 - sit atop stands and have tilt-top screens and plastic covers that can be adjusted. But some voters felt ...
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    Protect, don't suffocate me on ID theft (opinion)
    I am not myself these days. I don't know who I am, but I am definitely not myself. A lady on the phone as much as told me so. This was after she had given ...
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