Saturday, February 16, 2008

Where's Phill Kline When You Need Him?

Phill Kline's objective
Photo by bistrosavage

When it comes to violating patient privacy, New York City detectives and district attorneys are amateurs when compared to their Kansas counterparts.

Investigators looking into the recent killing of Kathryn Faughey, a city psychologist, would like to gain access to her patient records to determine whether the killer was one of her patients. But because of state and federal privacy laws they haven't yet been unable to access the medical records.

The problem, according to David Truemen, a psychologist and professor of health law at Columbia University, is that:

"[The police] can't do a fishing expedition," he said. "If they show probable cause, they can get records of individuals, but they can't just go get a list of patients and all their information."

Bwahahahaha, what utter, effete, coastal, liberal nonsense! Not only would Kansas authorities be able to go on a fishing expedition and come up with access to 2,090 patient records, but Kansas' very own Phill "Patient Chart Thief" Kline would be able to rout patient identities even if all personally identifying information were ordered removed from the charts.

Of course, the stumbling block in the New York investigation is that the suspect is a male patient, so authorities can't just go around trampling on his rights, despite him having actually committed a crime (actually he killed one person, the psychologist, and seriously injured another one, a colleague who came to her defense).

Still, my point stands: Where's a Kansas prosecutor when you really need to breach patient confidentiality?

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