Right Hooks

The DEA Didn't Get Warrants to Access Medical Records

How far do we want to go in the war on drugs?

Dan Gilmore · Sep. 14, 2015
Medical records

How far do we want to go in the war on drugs? In an attempt to crack down on “pill mills,” or doctors that enable prescription drug abuse, the Drug Enforcement Agency has run rough shod over the idea of patient privacy, several legal challenges allege. In some cases, the DEA used a subpoena to order access to patient records, something Texas attorney Terri Moore, who is representing a Texas doctor against the DEA, says is a subversion of the Fourth Amendment. In other cases, the DEA would simply shed any attempt at due process and ride into a doctor’s office with a state’s medical board, never mentioning they were the DEA and “tricking” doctors into violating their patient’s privacy, Fox News reports. “[S]urely there is a better way to do this,” writes Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw. “Couldn’t each doctor’s office be required to produce total numbers of prescriptions written without including the names and medical information of the individual patients? This is beyond troubling in terms of privacy and the DEA needs to be called before Congress to explain this.” This isn’t the wild, wild West of the Internet, yet DEA has been treating medical records like the NSA did all online communication. It didn’t go over well when government declared dominion over our communication. And there’s a similar fine line regarding private conversations with our doctors.

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