1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716-3450
Phone: (800) 635-1196
Hotline: (800) 419-4777
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.
A Voice for Private Physicians Since 1943
Omnia pro aegroto

 
5/5/2003

URGENT: ACTION ALERT!

To: Texas physicians

Tomorrow, May 6, please contact your representatives and members of the House Calendars Committee, the Speaker, and the Governor, asking them to stop CSHB 1921. This bill would change the current immunization registry law to mandate the release of EVERY child's immunization record to the Texas Department of Health Database without and against a parent's consent. There is an excellent chance to kill it if we can prevent it from being heard on the House floor

Telephone numbers, FAX numbers, and e-mail addresses are below.

A bureaucratic flow chart showing the effect of this bill can be seen at http://www.vaccineinfo.net/alerts/Oppose_CSHB_1921_chart.pdf.

The TMA, unfortunately, is having doctors call to support this monstrosity. Therefore, it is especially important for legislators to hear from physicians who believe in preserving confidences.

AAPS will send the following letter:

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a nationwide organization of physicians in all specialties, opposes CSHB 1921 because it violates the rights of parents, patients, and physicians.

Physicians have an ethical duty to preserve the confidentiality of their patients' records and also to advise patients about medical treatments according to the best of their ability and judgment.

Requiring the entry of all immunization records, so that parents have to be identified in a separate "non-consenters" database as a condition of removing the records, violates patients' privacy. Moreover, the Texas Department of Health has a record of disregarding the law with respect to the use of patient information.

There is no good public health reason for a centralized immunization database. Parents and physicians should keep these records. The only purpose for which such a database is necessary is to support coercive measures against parents or physicians who may disagree with one or more of the State's medical recommendations for their children or patients.

Even if current officials are vigilant in guarding the data, there is no way to guarantee protection against future abuses.

Only physicians are licensed to practice medicine; the State is not. Thus, only the physician, or a facility licensed to provide treatment, is the proper custodian for the patients' medical records. No patient should be forced to submit to government surveillance because of either obtaining or declining medical treatment.

Sincerely yours,

Jane M. Orient, M.D., Executive Director

HOUSE CALENDARS COMMITTEE MEMBERS AND CLERK

Rep. Beverly Woolley, Chair - (512) 463-0696, FAX (512) 463-9333
Rep. Wayne Christian (512) 463-0556, FAX (512) 463-3102
Rep. Vilma Luna (512) 463-0484, FAX (512) 463-8090
Rep. Jose Menendez (512) 463-0634, FAX (512) 463-7668
Rep. Gene Seaman (512) 463-0672, FAX (512) 463-3509
Rep. Barry Telford (512) 463-0692, FAX (512) 463-8155
Rep. Sylvester Turner (512) 463-0554, FAX (512) 463-8380
Rep. Vicki Truitt (512) 463-0690, FAX (512) 477-5770
Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth, V-Chair (512) 463-0538, FAX (512) 463-6551
Rep. Suzanna Gratia Hupp (512) 463-0684, FAX (512) 482-8284
Rep. Jerry Madden (512) 463-0544, FAX (512) 463-9974
Copy Calendars Clerk Tessa Zavala FAX (512) 463-5896
 
General House of Representatives Fax if any of the above are turned off or temporarily not working - (512) 463-5896