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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/21/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Under plan, federal government would monitor an individual's behavior

In yet another attempt by the U.S. federal government to break down all barriers of privacy, a new national program called "biosurveillance" will give bureaucrats access to Americans' private medical information. According to Twila Brase, a public health nurse and co-founder of the Citizens Council for Health Freedom, the proposal would allow the federal government to monitor an individual's behavior before, during and after any government-defined health "incident."

'It's very clear to us that really the government is moving toward real-time access, toward close collaboration of government and doctors for ready access to the electronic medical record and then to conduct research and analysis,' Twila Brase says.

"It's very clear to us that really the government is moving toward real-time access, toward close collaboration of government and doctors for ready access to the electronic medical record and then to conduct research and analysis," Twila Brase says.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/21/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Biosurveillance, privacy, Twila Brase


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In plain language, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is seeking public comment on a 52-page draft of the proposed "National Health Security Strategy 2015-2018."

"Health situational awareness includes biosurveillance and other health and non-health inputs (e.g., lab/diagnostics, health service utilization, active intelligence, and supply chain information), as well as systems and processes for effective communication among responders and critical health resource monitoring and allocation," the draft states.

Starvation takes no vacation --

Brase warns that this is too hazily defined, and gives the federal government sweeping powers.

"It's very broad. It doesn't seem to have any limits, except they say something about, you know, properly protecting the data. But from our perspective, if the government gets access to this kind of data, [and] is allowed to do research with the data.then our privacy has already been compromised. The government has already said that our data is their data for their purposes of national health security," Brase says.

"It's very clear to us that really the government is moving toward real-time access, toward close collaboration of government and doctors for ready access to the electronic medical record and then to conduct research and analysis.

"I don't think they ever mentioned the word merging, but this is a very close connection they want between public health, which is the government, and clinical health, which is your doctor's office and the hospital, for whatever diseases they choose to have reported," she added.

Brase also noted that the information collected by the government will be "all-encompassing" and include "what our health status is, whether we exercise, how often we get a cold, or what kind of medications we're taking. They're also looking at the climate, and the economic condition of the country, as all being a party of this National Health Security Strategy."

"In other words, anything and everything could become a health threat by the government's standards," she warns.

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