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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday September 12, @03:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the another-brick-in-the-wall dept.

Submitted via IRC for Runaway1956

How private are your medical records? You'd think they'd be pretty damn private, considering Congress specifically passed a law regulating the disclosure of these sensitive records. Some states feel the same way, extending even greater privacy protections to things like prescription records.

[...] Seems pretty locked down, but as Leslie Francis and John Francis point out at the Oxford University Press blog, federal law enforcement agencies have undone both Congressional protections and state protections.

Utah's requirement for a warrant conflicts with the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which permits the DEA to issue administrative subpoenas for information relating to individuals suspected of violations of the CSA. According to a US Department of Justice report, administrative subpoenas may be issued by the agency without judicial oversight and without the showing of probable cause that would be required for a warrant.

When states provide more protections to residents than the federal government's willing to grant, it's often the state laws that lose, especially when controlled substances are involved. Such is the case here, at least so far. The DEA demanded the release of patient info/prescription records without a warrant, something forbidden by Utah law. The state objected to the DEA's records demand. The DEA responded by flexing its considerable federal muscle.

The DEA countered with the Supremacy Clause: valid federal laws are superior to conflicting state laws.

The court ended up agreeing with the DEA: patient info and prescription records aren't afforded additional privacy protections, no matter what HIPAA/state laws have to say about the matter.

Source: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170903/13310738148/thanks-to-dea-drug-war-your-prescription-records-have-zero-expectation-privacy.shtml


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday September 12, @03:56AM

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday September 12, @03:56AM (#566532)
  • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Tuesday September 12, @04:24AM

    by Whoever (4524) on Tuesday September 12, @04:24AM (#566541)

    Blame the Supreme Court Justices who decided Katz v. United States. Without this decision, and the ones that followed it, medical (and many other kinds of) data would be protected by the 4th Amendment.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Arik on Tuesday September 12, @04:29AM (1 child)

    by Arik (4543) on Tuesday September 12, @04:29AM (#566545)
    There is no authorization in the constitution for drug laws or enforcement, so there is no valid law there to trump the state statute.

    But we quit pretending to follow the constitution a long time ago, didn't we?
    --
    "Unix? These savages aren't even circumcised!"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @06:00PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @06:00PM (#566882)

      There is no authorization in the constitution for drug laws or enforcement

      So, if government employees are doing something that would be considered a crime if you or I did it, and they don't have authority to do such a thing, what would you call such people?

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by fustakrakich on Tuesday September 12, @04:38AM (22 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday September 12, @04:38AM (#566547) Journal

    Then they should argue against the validity of federal law. Unless prohibition is part of the constitution, as it was at one time, it should be declared invalid. These laws stand because there is little to no resistance. Apparently, lack of resistance can be taken as consent, as is reelection of 97% of congress every season. So, unless people stand up, these laws will stand.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by melikamp on Tuesday September 12, @05:35AM (6 children)

      by melikamp (1886) on Tuesday September 12, @05:35AM (#566555) Journal

      This is nothing, folks, the medical privacy situation is much much worse than TFA would have you to believe, and the clusterfuck starts with doctors themselves. Doctors and hospitals these days spit on our privacy. I swear, next time a doctor asks me which drugs I am regularly consuming, I am gonna ask her in return, which operating system is she using to log my responses. A rhetorical question, really, since it's windoze. Next I am gonna inform her that all of my data, ALL OF IT, goddamned (unless, that is, they got some fully free+libre machines there, which they don't) is accessible by Micro$oft and its affiliates, as their EULA informs us. And not only accessible, but in fact accessed daily, hourly even, and in complete secrecy from everyone but Micro$oft, as our best forensic studies lead us to believe. And if she has at that point the gull to suggest that OH NO, Micro$oftie would not do that, as that would be ILLEGAL, I will point out that it's the same company that films naked teenagers daily in their living rooms via xxx-box, transmits those videos over the internet, and stores them in the cloud, making them perhaps the #1 illegal porn manufacturer in the world; needless to say, completely immune to all prosecution.

      So don't you people worry about intricacies of the constitutional law. Our doctors have their heads 3 feet up micro$oft's anus, which means none of your medical records are private at all: they all leaked a long time ago, got collated into marketing databases, moved into a cloud, and then leaked again. And nothing will change until doctors themselves recognize they are selling us out, just like lawyers who conduct "confidential" interviews within an earshot of a spy-phone.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @06:06AM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @06:06AM (#566560)

        Have you found any providers of anonymous medical treatment?

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Arik on Tuesday September 12, @06:20AM (3 children)

          by Arik (4543) on Tuesday September 12, @06:20AM (#566563)
          If you live near the Mexican border they're easy to find. Skills as good or better than on this side of the fence, and they're much more productive because they don't have to spend 70%+ of each day filing paperwork. And they'll do just about anything you could possibly want, as long as you pay cash.
          --
          "Unix? These savages aren't even circumcised!"
          • (Score: 4, Informative) by Arik on Tuesday September 12, @07:16AM (2 children)

            by Arik (4543) on Tuesday September 12, @07:16AM (#566577)
            Actually, re-reading this, it was a bit loosely stated.

            I certainly don't mean to imply they are willing to help you violate laws, Mexican or US. Particularly drug laws. I've never really run into this myself but I've spent considerable times in retirement communities near the border where lots of people go over for treatment, and I've definitely heard this from them. The docs on the south side of the border are no less worried about the DEA than those to the north. People that buy their drugs in Mexico typically have two scrips, in some cases they had the norte scrip before they moved to the area of course, but in others they have famously gone to Mexico, seen a good doctor, got a diagnosis and a plan of treatement - and then been informed they will have to find a norte doctor to concur and write a scrip before they're going to risk writing one that can be used in Mexico.

            You might imagine this would make the whole process a bit of a pain in the ass for anyone that genuinely needs and wants scrips, and you'd be right. But the rest of us can save a lot of money and time down there, and honestly, the only reason the situation really seems burdensome to me is because I know people that really do need the drug therapies to sustain their lives, old people with really serious medical problems, and I see them as being the most inconvenienced by the situation, it causes them a lot more trouble than the pill-seekers it's mean to stymie and they're less able to cope with the setbacks.
            --
            "Unix? These savages aren't even circumcised!"
            • (Score: 1) by noneof_theabove on Tuesday September 12, @01:48PM

              by noneof_theabove (6189) on Tuesday September 12, @01:48PM (#566721)

              You left out ONE BIG point.....
              You have to have a passport to legally cross the border. [TTBOMK]
              Growing up in the 1960/70 125 miles from the border was great.
              Cheap sugar and other staples including limited [? 2 bottles / person] of liquor.
              Even basic meds, some not needing a script, like general antibiotics.

              No más hoy. [no more today]

            • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Tuesday September 12, @02:13PM

              by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @02:13PM (#566735) Journal

              *sigh*

              You left us with a great lead for our stories about Juan's Border Bar and Clinic - then you came back and added more pertinent data. I'm so disappointed. The first time I met Ethanol-Fueled was in Juan's. And, 'Zumi, too. Never saw Aristachus there, though. I heard he simply won't drink cheap Mexican beer or liquor, and Juan doesn't serve anything else. It is a bit unnerving when Juan comes back to the bar, lays his scalpel beside the cash register, and the blood just kinda pools up on the bar.

              --
              This broadcast is intended for mature audiences.
      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday September 12, @04:11PM

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday September 12, @04:11PM (#566800) Journal

        I swear, next time a doctor asks me which drugs I am regularly consuming, I am gonna ask her in return, which operating system is she using to log my responses.

        Regardless of the privacy issue, I have to assume you know there is a real reason, and kind of an obligation to ask what you are taking. Mixed with the wrong prescription, and, oops! So let's not get too hasty with the condemnations.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @06:41PM (14 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @06:41PM (#566905)

      So, unless people stand up, these laws will stand.

      Just exactly what are you proposing people do?

      - Political races are typically gerrymandered to polarize the populace and encourage the status quo
      - The private political parties tightly control their candidates using means which are only not illegal due to the rules they break being those of their own private "clubs" (see Ron Paul circa 2008)
      - The Occupy protests voiced many valid points regarding government criminality yet produced... what, exactly?
      - The IRS is perhaps the most feared government department, and regularly sweeps bank accounts clean, puts levies against any owned property, and otherwise strikes fear into the heart of the general populace.
      - The most responsible members of the criminal cartel are protected by literal armies of armed and equipped enforcer thugs, some of which even may believe they are doing a good service for the public.

      What option do you propose?

      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday September 12, @07:15PM (11 children)

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday September 12, @07:15PM (#566923) Journal

        What option do you propose?

        Vote out the incumbent factions (there is only one party). The power is in your vote, not in the banker's money. Gerrymandering be damned, its a bullshit excuse. If ya can't be arsed, well, don't go blaming anybody else.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @10:28PM (10 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 12, @10:28PM (#566990)

          Vote out the incumbent factions

          Nope, doesn't work. I cannot vote out anyone, and as I mentioned before, the voting game is rigged. Voting actually harms the victims of government criminality as it lends credibility to the scam.

          Care to come up with a real answer, rather than just virtue signalling?

          • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Tuesday September 12, @11:29PM (9 children)

            by fustakrakich (6150) on Tuesday September 12, @11:29PM (#567009) Journal

            Fine, continue your blame passing then. Just stop crying about it. You're just following Clinton's example from her book. It really is quite tiresome. You people are the ones doing the rigging by playing along.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @05:14AM (8 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @05:14AM (#567083)

              You people are the ones doing the rigging by playing along.

              So, you tell others to "do something!", by which you mean "vote", and voting is a rigged suckers' game where only establishment players win, and when that is pointed out, you blame the victim. Nice.

              I suggest striking at the root using the last functional and peaceful option left: refuse to fund the criminal government. Fully 75%+ of the US federal budget comes from personal income taxes. You can control this to a certain extent by increasing the number of claimed exemptions on a W-4 to an arbitrary number (which doesn't affect FICA/social security, which just get added to the fedgov's yearly general fund), or you could generate income without working for a boss who will help the fedgov fund itself by stealing from workers' paychecks.

              It sure beats futile whining and victim-blaming.

              • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by fustakrakich on Wednesday September 13, @05:39AM (7 children)

                by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday September 13, @05:39AM (#567089) Journal

                voting is a rigged suckers' game where only establishment players win, and when that is pointed out, you blame the victim.

                Ugh! I wish you could hear yourself. "Poor poor pitiful me! The whole world is against me!" You just can't stop playing the victim. Really, quit your whining! Your problems are self inflicted. "Establishment players" win with your votes. They can't do it without you. There is no one else to blame. But at this point I figure you're just trolling, so hasta lumbago, babe. Go off and cry by yourself in the corner somewhere.

                Oh, and see how far you get trying to put your harem on your W-4. Let me know how that works out for ya

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:45PM (6 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:45PM (#567195)

                  Having had your bluff called, all you seem to have left is repetition of your falsified assertion. (The last time I was at the polls, I voted against every single incumbent. They all won re-election.) Amusingly, when a doubly-practical course of action was presented to you, you ignorantly mock it.

                  Five years ago, I changed my W-4 exemptions to ~40. It's a number on a form with no other names attached to said exemptions, and used for the primary purpose of calculating how much money is automatically taken by the IRS. With a high enough number of exemptions, the amount taken drops to zero (again, except for FICA). Before doing so, I took the obvious precautions of having no real estate listed in my name, minimum balances in bank accounts, prepared to change jobs to defend against paycheck garnishments, and then cut all contact with the IRS. Not a peep from the IRS, although the amount of broadcast advertisements targeted at those who "owe the IRS money" I've begun to notice strongly suggests I am far from alone in my chosen course of action. Again, FULLY 75%+ of the US federal budget comes from personal (not corporate) income taxes. If you have not likewise done this, YOU are fueling the criminality in government.

                  Sure beats impotently voting and then blaming voters when "throwing the rascals out" doesn't work [goodreads.com].

                  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday September 13, @04:58PM (5 children)

                    by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday September 13, @04:58PM (#567285) Journal

                    "throwing the rascals out" doesn't work.

                    Spellbound, blinded, and so easily convinced by pithy quotes...

                    You'll never know until you try, but it seems you're not interested in making even the feeblest of efforts. Complaining is so much easier. As a perfect example of why we are in this predicament, you have been very enlightening. You, amongst many others, are confirmation the problem is psychological, not political. Learned helplessness is a real thing. So, by all means carry on following everybody over the cliff. You have lots of good company. I fully understand how strong the herding instinct is.

                    Heh, living on the run, eh? I am interested to see how long you can hide from the IRS while making false statement on their forms. I hope you never get tired of looking over your shoulder and can afford a good lawyer.

                    Oh well, the scores are in, you win the internet. Good day, sir...

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @09:59PM (4 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @09:59PM (#567496)

                      it seems you're not interested in making even the feeblest of efforts

                      Considering I gave anecdotes [soylentnews.org] to the contrary that you didn't even read, I'd say projection is the order of the day for you.

                      I hope you never get tired of looking over your shoulder

                      I see. You're not interested in actually trying to solve the problem of criminal government, but you are more than happy to be a crab trying to pull an escapee back into the pot.

                      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday September 13, @10:07PM (3 children)

                        by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday September 13, @10:07PM (#567500) Journal

                        I said good day,sir! [youtube.com]

                        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @10:21PM (2 children)

                          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @10:21PM (#567508)

                          Does getting in the last word (albeit by posting a meme instead of a word of your own) substitute for an argument in your world? I'm curious, as I'd prefer insight into the mind of someone who presents as someone encouraging solutions to the problem of literally-criminal government, and yet later cheerleads [soylentnews.org] for that same criminal government!

                          Are you upset that I revealed that your actions are contributing to the very problems you mentioned when starting this thread [soylentnews.org]? Are you simply deathly afraid of the IRS? Do you disagree with my assertions personal income tax revenues [nationalpriorities.org] are the Achilles Heel of criminal federal government [cbpp.org] (especially considering the employee's salary suffers to pay for "employer-paid" portions of income taxes)?

                          Are you just upset that you seem a lot less insightful when pressed for substance?

                          • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Wednesday September 13, @10:26PM (1 child)

                            by fustakrakich (6150) on Wednesday September 13, @10:26PM (#567510) Journal

                            You're that APK guy from over at slashdot, aren't you?

                            Whatever, by all means, you are more than welcome to the *last word*... toodles

                            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @10:36PM

                              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @10:36PM (#567514)

                              So, you don't have any answers to my questions? Your primary thrust that PEOPLE DO SOMETHING turns out to be nothing but vapid hot air, and ultimately support for the very thing you labelled as a problem in the first place? You're content to fart around the room like a punctured balloon rather than respond with substance to my thin but well-supported barb?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:03AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @01:03AM (#567031)

        What option do you propose?

        Support movements like the Justice Democrats and primary the corporate pieces of garbage that fill both parties and replace them with better candidates.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:48PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 13, @12:48PM (#567197)

          My faith in voting as a solution died when the establishment killed Ron Paul's campaign by rule-breaking and fraud at the State level in 2008.

          Before you can fix the problem in government by voting, you must first fix the problems in the private parties which control access to who gets on voters' ballots.

          There are other solutions to fix the problem beyond voting. One or two of those are even peaceful.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by bradley13 on Tuesday September 12, @12:43PM (1 child)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @12:43PM (#566704) Homepage Journal

    As others have pointed out [coyoteblog.com], the laws and regulations aimed at opioids are all about "OMG drug abuse", and give absolute zero consideration to the people who actually need these drugs. Better to let one hundred chronically ill patients writhe in agony, than to let one unauthorized person get high?

    Of course, the increasing restrictions have had an effect: the number of deaths by overdose on opioids has tripled [drugabuse.gov]. Although, taken in context, 30,000 deaths per year is still trivial - cancer kills 20 times that many, and cancer patients are one of the main groups that need, really need opioids.

    Anyway, if what you're doing doesn't work, do it harder. Seriously, legalization and treatment. Stop punishing the patients who need the stuff.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Spamalope on Tuesday September 12, @03:06PM

      by Spamalope (5233) on Tuesday September 12, @03:06PM (#566759) Homepage

      The drug war is all about the cash now. If you have significant assets that can easily be seized then you're at risk.

      I've got a difficult to treat auto-immune disease (presumably a birth defect) where my immune system attacks me. It's painful as hell, and the medications for it barely help.

      When I asked about pain management, not only was that denied but they also ran a drug sting on me. I'm been saving over half my pay since I figure I'll be too bad off to work soon. Looks like my savings/equifax was the only informant they needed. I'm just glad they didn't use throw down drugs to make it a formality.

  • (Score: 2) by digitalaudiorock on Tuesday September 12, @11:31PM (1 child)

    by digitalaudiorock (688) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 12, @11:31PM (#567010)

    This is nothing compared the laws in Georgia regarding anyone with a prescription for any class I or II drug: You're required to submit to a drug test (urine or blood) every month to "make sure you're taking" the drug and not hording it or selling it. However, a friend of mine had to submit to this and managed to get ahold of the results...only to find out they test for every legal and illegal substance there is!

    So basically if you're sick in Georgia you're required to submit to a clearly unconstitutional search with no warrant. I almost fell over when I heard that one. I have to wonder what happens when/if a test like that comes back positive for THC or the like? Fucking nuts...our AG must love it though.

    • (Score: 1) by DeVilla on Friday September 15, @01:18AM

      by DeVilla (5354) on Friday September 15, @01:18AM (#568200)

      I have to wonder what happens when/if a test like that comes back positive for THC or the like?

      They starting working on parallel construction?

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