Thursday, October 28, 2004

Opinion: Too much privacy?

Kerry Diotte, a columnist for the Edmonton Sun, has a piece about proposed amendments to the Alberta Health Information Act that were voted down by a legislature committee that was reviewing the Act. The proposal would have allowed hospitals to disclose health information without consent to police in certain circumstances:

Edmonton Sun Columnist: Kerry Diotte - Too much privacy?:


In a submission to the committee studying changes to the act, then-acting deputy chief Mike Bradshaw summed up the cops' concerns.

'The [Edmonton Police Service]'s primary concern is that the (current act) prevents health-care providers from contacting or disclosing to police services information where it is reasonably suspected that a person attending the hospital has been involved in some form of criminal activity,' wrote Bradshaw.

That point hits home with Lukaszuk who welcomes the more common-sense approach of the new legislation.

'In my opinion, shifting the balance from complete protection of health information to a slight relaxation of such protection -and enhancing police ability to apprehend criminals - was a reasonable undertaking,' said Lukaszuk.

'After all, any law-abiding Albertan would not object to a police officer wanting to know whether he is in hospital or whether he has a bullet wound. It's likely only the criminal element that would object.' "

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