Letter to the Editor of the Villager Newspapers published 7/18/2013
People gladly accepted the inception of ATM machines, designed to improve access to banking services. The technology greatly improved daily business for us all with only a limited amount of danger or fraud involved. Utilized responsibly, there is little risk to users and ATM machines cannot see inside our homes or read our minds.
In contrast, the electronic medical record, a much anticipated tool of the health care system, is reaching disturbing levels of encroachment into the most private aspects of our lives and also will enjoy eternal life in cyberspace. Whether seeking emergency treatment or maintaining a medical condition patients have no insulation from the EMR, the new prying eyes of Government, now in its course of assisting with medical treatment decisions for us all. As it relates to finances, there is no other way a government controlled health care system can work without controlling choices, which equate to costs. These factors are a win-win for the decision-makers, not necessarily the patient.
Since many states, including Connecticut, are adopting regulations laid out in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the EMR is already entrenched in our physicians’ offices. Local reports from patients disclose that questions are being asked by nurses and physicians. They range from sexual behavior history to weapon possession and storage. Answers are immediately entered into a patient’s electronic record, which can be shared unilaterally and momentarily. It is clear, by the nature of the questions, that this tool is important to the implementation of certain agendas.
At the moment it is not a requirement to answer these questions for inclusion in a medical record. However, since our majority elects politicians that carry the water of progressive agendas, there is no guarantee that will remain the case. Patients should consider answers (to these inquiries) very carefully, since personal choices can be a powerful means in the hands of someone with power. The sky is the limit these days when considering the scope of interactions between the agents of medical care, social agencies and law enforcement.
The EMR is another unintended consequence of citizen-sanctioned government control, giving the term “Taking care of you” a darker meaning. It will behoove us to remember this whether we are in the doctor’s office or in the voting booth.
Rita Conrad, Pomfret Center