Planned parenthood vs.the Justice Dept

  1. Ashcroft has subpoened Planned Parenthood for scores of medical records...Does this frighten any of you like it does me?
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  2. 51 Comments

  3. by   NurseRatchet26
    Quote from ktwlpn
    Ashcroft has subpoened Planned Parenthood for scores of medical records...Does this frighten any of you like it does me?
    Why on Earth does he claim he needs those?? I am curious as to his excuse for sticking his nose where it REALLY doesn't belong. Nost creep! :angryfire
  4. by   fergus51
    Do you have a link or anything. I would be disgusted if this were true. How can a Republican want the government to look into personal medical records? Can someone say "big brother"?

    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/art..._abortion.html

    I found this link. This statement reallllllyyyyyyy disturbs me

    Citing federal case law, the department said in a brief that "there is no federal common law" protecting physician-patient privilege. In light of "modern medical practice" and the growth of third-party insurers, it said, "individuals no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential."
    Last edit by fergus51 on Feb 26, '04
  5. by   jnette
    Quote from ktwlpn
    Ashcroft has subpoened Planned Parenthood for scores of medical records...Does this frighten any of you like it does me?

    Yes... it not only frightens, but also disgusts me. :stone
  6. by   ktwlpn
    [QUOTE=fergus51]Do you have a link or anything. I would be disgusted if this were true. QUOTE] Of course it is true-here is another link to make your skin crawl...http://www.twincities.com/mld/twincities/7940694.htm I am really frightened of the conservative right wing in this country today.They are gaining way TOO much power.......If we don't get politically active really fast-as women,as nurses-as people who care about our environment and the quality of life of our fellow man we are going to be forced to live in the past...
  7. by   Rapheal
    This is horrible. And what does he plan to do with these medical records when he gets them?

    And yet I can't tell the wife of a patient anything pertinent over the phone because of HIPPA. Somethings' wrong here.
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    If you read the entire article it states that this is a lawsuit by physicians who are trying to overturn the Partial Birth Abortion Ban that was signed into law. The Justice Department has the right to subpoena all information they need regarding how many Partial Birth Abortions were done and for what reason. All personal identifiers will be removed so no one's privacy will be violated. I don't have a problem with this as it is standard operating policy in law. Maybe those of us who have a problem with some of John Ashcroft's decisions let his name go to our head and had a knee-jerk reaction (remember I have a problem with some of the Patriot Act's provisions). Some of you who are upset about this story were in favor of banning partial birth abortion. So why get upset when the Justice Department is only trying to respond to a lawsuit and keep the ban in place? The impression given above is that the Justice Department is going willy-nilly into patient's medical records and not removing all identifiers thereby becoming "Big Brother". Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Posted on Thu, Feb. 12, 2004





    Justice Dept. Demands Abortion Records

    DAVID CRARY

    Associated Press


    NEW YORK - Under fire from abortion-rights groups, Attorney General John Ashcroft insisted Thursday that doctor-patient privacy is not threatened by a government attempt to subpoena medical records in a lawsuit over the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.

    At stake are records documenting certain late-term abortions performed by doctors who have joined in a legal challenge of the disputed ban. President Bush signed the act into law last year.

    Critics of the subpoenas accuse the Justice Department of trying to intimidate doctors and patients involved in the contested type of abortion.

    At least six hospitals have been targeted by subpoenas, including facilities in New York and Michigan which said they are weighing how to respond. Last week, a federal judge in Chicago blocked release of records from Northwestern Memorial Hospital; another judge is considering a similar request from Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia.

    Ashcroft said the Justice Department will accept the records in edited form, after deleting or masking any information that would identify a patient. Abortion-rights supporters nonetheless depicted the subpoenas as a dangerous intrusion into medical confidentiality.

    "People's medical records should not be the tools of political operatives," said Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. "All Americans should have the right to visit their doctor and receive sound medical attention without the fear of Big Brother looking into those records."

    The federal ban seeks to outlaw a procedure referred to by critics as partial-birth abortion and by medical organizations as "intact dilatation and extraction" - or D&X.

    During D&X, a fetus's legs and torso are pulled from the uterus before its skull is punctured. An estimated 2,200 to 5,000 such abortions are performed annually in the United States, out of 1.3 million total abortions.

    The doctors targeted by the subpoenas have contended in lawsuits that the ban is unconstitutional because it is overly broad and lacks any exemption for a woman's health.

    Ashcroft, at a news conference in Washington, said the subpoenas were needed to enable the government to rebut these claims.

    "The Congress has enacted a law with the president's signature that outlaws this terrible practice," Ashcroft said. "We sought from the judge authority to get medical records to find out whether indeed the allegation by the plaintiffs, that it's medically necessary, is really a fact."

    In the Chicago case, the Justice Department sought medical records from Northwestern Memorial Hospital relating to abortions performed by Dr. John Hammond.

    U.S. District Judge Charles Kocoras quashed the subpoena, saying Illinois' medical privacy law superseded the government's need for the records. Kocoras said patients' privacy could be jeopardized even if their names were deleted, because their prior medical history would still be disclosed.

    At the University of Michigan Medical Center, spokeswoman Kallie Michels said no records have been turned over. She said the university is waiting to see a new court order requesting data that does not identify patients.

    A subpoena also was issued to New York Presbyterian Hospital.

    "We place a very high value on our patients' privacy and we are exploring our options in that context," said spokeswoman Myrna Manners.

    Another New York hospital, St. Luke's-Roosevelt, also received a subpoena but told the Justice Department that none of the abortion procedures at issue had been performed there in the past couple of years.

    Some of the abortion-rights groups engaged in the litigation - including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America - declined comment.

    But the chairman of an allied organization, Wendy Chavkin of Physicians for Reproductive Health Choice, said the subpoenas were cause for grave concern.

    "Not only is this Justice Department and this attorney general profoundly anti-abortion, but they have a questionable commitment to civil liberties," Chavkin said.

    She said the subpoenas seemed to be a tactic of intimidation comparable to a subpoena issued recently in a federal grand jury probe ordering Drake University to turn over names of certain anti-war activists.

    Dr. Joe DeCook, vice president of the anti-abortion American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said the government should be entitled to get medical records as it enforces federal laws.

    "If there's a law, it should be followed," DeCook said. "It can be enforced without embarrassing the woman by dragging her name out in public."

    Cook's organization contends that D&X is never medically necessary and supports the partial-birth abortion ban. The larger American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as well as the American Medical Association, does not encourage use of D&X but says the procedure should not be banned.

    steph
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Feb 27, '04
  9. by   Dave ARNP
    Quote from ktwlpn
    Ashcroft has subpoened Planned Parenthood for scores of medical records...Does this frighten any of you like it does me?
    Nope.

    If the goverment would really like to do something that they can mark down in history, the should shut these people down.

    Ofcourse, satan has to keep his grasp somehow. I guess PP would be it.

    -Dave
  10. by   Gomer
    Another reason to get Bush and all of his anal retentive buddies out of office.
  11. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from Gomer
    Another reason to get Bush and all of his anal retentive buddies out of office.
    Applause, Applause!!!
  12. by   molecule
    anyone remember the old days when you had to tell your gym teacher you had your menses so as to be excused from showering? [ we had to report during roll call saying the code word 'regular']

    anyone wondering if someday soon all females will have to register their monthlies with the police?
  13. by   manna
    Quote from MD Terminator
    If the goverment would really like to do something that they can mark down in history, the should shut these people down.
    I'm with Dave on this one.

    I think there are some alarmists among us.
  14. by   fergus51
    Steph, this isn't a knee jerk reaction in my case. Did you read where they are arguing there is no federal right to doctor-patient confidentiality and we have no reasonable expectation to confidentiality (and anonymity is not the same thing)? That is scary to me. Can you say "slippery slope"? Where do you think this is heading? Why even make that argument if you aren't going to use it again?
    Last edit by fergus51 on Feb 27, '04

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