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Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
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Model Resolutions

CMA Resolution, submitted January, 2003

TITLE: Restoration of Medical Privacy and the Right of Consent for Information Release
AUTHOR: Stephen J. Walsh, M.D.

WHEREAS lack of privacy in medical and psychiatric care drives patients away from getting the care they need, and

WHEREAS "regulatory permission" to access personal medical records has been given to hundreds of thousands of "covered entities" and their "business associates" by recent HIPAA regulations, and

WHEREAS unprecedented access to private medical records without individual consent or judicial review has been granted to federal government agencies by these HIPAA regulations, and

WHEREAS the HIPAA regulations have extinguished by regulatory statue individuals' traditional right of consent for the use and disclosure of their personal medical information for most uses (treatment, payment, "health care operations" and "activities necessary for appropriate oversight of the health care system"), and

WHEREAS these so-called privacy regulations appear to violate the first, fourth and tenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and

WHEREAS the California Medical Association has many times affirmed the primary importance of confidentiality in medical care and of the patient's right of consent for personal medical information release,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that CMA will encourage federal legislation to restore genuine medical privacy and patients' traditional right to consent for their personal medical information release, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CMA will communicate with each California representative and senator in the U.S. Congress urging each to support restoration of patients' right of consent for information release, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that CMA consider joining, with or without contributing financial support, with other medical and psychiatric organizations to support legal actions against the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services aimed at restoring genuine medical privacy rights and the right of consent for individuals' private medical information release, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this matter be referred for national action by the American Medical Association.