Saturday, February 20, 2010
Just A Bit Of Constitutional Info
I had asked him about the constraints, both written and implied, by the HIPAA regulations. His answer gave me a lot of food for thought.
Citing constitutional premise, he referred to the guarantee of freedom of religion. He said that this important freedom, PER IMPLICATION, also can be truthfully and successully argued to guarantee, for the idividual, freedom FROM religion. It is a tacit understanding of that legality. In other words, because of the foresight of the authors of the constitution, no one can be forced to believe, participate or observe any organized religions, sects or associated dogma if they do not choose to do so.
He then posited that, since the HIPAA regulations were made law, it made, in effect, the medical and psychiatric history of each person the sole property of that person. While it does keep medical professionals from arbitrarily sharing our information, it also, PER IMPLICATION, keeps anyone else from being able to access that information on demand. Were such a demand to be attached to, say, a bill seeking open records for adult adoptees only, and were passed, it could be challenged, probably successfully, by the individual to whom such a demand would be made. Implied here is that we can refuse to comply and our physicians can, as well.
While I decry the involvement of the ACLU in keeping adoption records closed and original birth certificates sealed, I would think that they would have a really good time with this one. I would have no problem seeking out the help of the ACLU is anyone were to feel they were entitled to my personal information.
What I am wondering is what helpful person decided that this demand should be part of any law granting adult adopted people the right to their OBC and adoption records? If the authors of these bills are working hand-in-hand with adoption professionals, then that answers my question. Most mothers, if asked by their adult children for help with medical issues, would be happy to dig into the family history and find out what they could to help. But when private information of one citizen can be demanded, by law, by another citizen, then something has gone badly awry with our system of individual freedoms.
My friend is an attorney and an educator. This is not an area where he has delved deeply and his views and answers were from his knowledge of constitutional law. But I really liked what he had to say.
It would really look bad for the open-records group if people started filing suit against their natural mothers for information and compensation for medical problems. In fact, it would look downright snarky and entitled.
It would also look like someone wants to punish mommy.