March 14, 2006

Big Brother from Another Mother

The rampant fear-mongering about NSA 'spying' on Americans has stolen much of MSM's headline space of late. Unfortunately, little attention was given to the fact that it really wasn't 'spying' and it really wasn't directed at Americans. But facts never interrupt a left wing mantra.

Maybe the general public needed a real example of Big Brother. Liberalism's American Mecca, New York City, was glad to oblige. From the Washington Post:

New York City is starting to monitor the blood sugar levels of its diabetic residents, marking the first time any government in the United States has begun tracking people with a chronic disease.

Under the program, the city is requiring laboratories to report the results of blood sugar tests directly to the health department, which will use the data to study the disease and to prod doctors and patients when levels run too high.

Question: Why would inquiries such as these end at blood sugar levels? Why not tests such as blood pressure or cholestrol, and on, and on? You can design an Olympic downhill course from this slippery slope.

Patients will be contacted.

The plan has alarmed privacy advocates, particularly because the information is being collected without first getting patients' consent.

"It's an incredible invasion to privacy to have your sensitive medical information grabbed by the city of New York," said Robin Kaigh, a New York lawyer who opposes the effort. "It shocks the conscience that they are not even required to tell you this is happening."

Doctors may not even know data on their patients are being collected.

"It's a little creepy that it's being done so undercover -- in the laboratories -- where it's completely out of sight of the doctor-patient interaction," said Twila J. Brase of the Citizens' Council on Health Care, a nonprofit group in Minnesota.

"Hello, this is a recording. My name is Betty Bureaucrat and I am an underworked paper pusher employed by New York City. It is my job to tell you that unbeknownst to your Doctor and without your consent, we have obtained your blood sugar test results.

Push one to hear the results of your tests in English.

To continuar en Espanol.....

The reaction of the self designated 'public health advocates was predictable:

"We greatly support the idea of helping people with diabetes better manage their disease," said Richard Kahn, the association's chief scientific and medical officer. "We also are concerned with information about a person's individual medical condition becoming publicly known."

Other experts praised the plan.

"There are hundreds of thousands of Americans who are going to have heart attacks, strokes, amputations and dialysis because we are not paying good enough attention to their diabetes," said Benjamin Littenberg of the University of Vermont, who has been studying the approach. "This has got tremendous potential to prevent an enormous amount of misery, pain and premature death."

Finish the quote, Mr. Littenberg " the expense of privacy and liberty."


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Thu Mar 16, 10:44:00 AM  

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