by Stewart Cowen
Shared Information: What’s Its Real Purpose?
Police want new and expanded rights to access medical records and other confidential data without an individual’s consent, a senior police chief has told the Guardian. Sir Peter Fahy, the Greater Manchester chief constable, said the extra access to sensitive data was needed to help police cope with growing numbers of vulnerable people.
Citing the usual care-and-concern-for-the-citizen line we have come to rely on as the excuse to trample over our rights.
Even the British Medical Association is against it as it breaches confidentiality and trust. As Julia writes,
…you know you’re on the wrong path when the BMA are saying ‘Woah there! That’s a bit too strong!’, don’t you?
If the ‘system’ was trustworthy, it might be a good idea, but unscrupulous officers could do a lot of damage with such information.
If someone is mentally ill, it is easier to pin a crime on them if the police are under pressure and the real perpetrator cannot be found?
That’s what happened to Barry George, who was found guilty of the murder of Crimewatch presenter Jill Dando.
But even before the case got to court there were concerns that the police, under immense pressure to catch Miss Dando’s killer, had been so desperate to secure a conviction that they had fallen into the trap of making the facts fit into their hypothesis, rather than forming a hypothesis based on the facts.
He was immediately ruled out as a suspect, because police were certain the killer was a professional hitman hired by a jealous former boyfriend or gangster with a grudge against Crimewatch.
More recently, of course, it has been suggested that she was about to blow the lid off a BBC paedophile ring.
Mr George spent eight years in prison before finally being released for wrongful conviction. He was refused compensation ‘for not being innocent enough’!
I am also reminded of ‘social misfit’ Stefan Kiszko, who was jailed for sixteen years for a crime he could not have committed and sadly died the year after his release.
There have been calls for the past few years to make climate change ‘denial’ a mental illness.
In the future, anything could be reclassified as a mental disorder and people locked away, as happened in the Soviet Union to political dissidents. Access to medical records and ‘other information’ will only aid in that process of political persecution, which is almost certain to happen the way things are going.
Knowledge is power, so why do they really want to know our medical history? Why does the Government really want every one of our telephone calls recorded and emails and visited website URLs stored? Why has the Scottish Government really initiated the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill which means that all Scottish children are given a “named person” as a sort of State guardian and information can be shared?
I have to shake my head at these privacy laws (the ones designed for us, not them). I have to abide by privacy legislation as a retailer and am obliged to have a company policy on it.
Obsession with privacy has become so ridiculous that people who work for the government are scared to tell you anything.
For example, until recently, a friend used to go to the same church as I used to, where half of the members work for the NHS. After the service, people congregate for up to three-quarters of an hour (or more) chatting over tea and biscuits (I’m sure that’s the main reason a fair proportion attend).
My friend asked a fellow church member, who is a physiotherapist, about how another church member was getting on. She replied that privacy laws meant that she wasn’t allowed to discuss the matter. A friendlier response, even if it had been a refusal to give details, might have been more appropriate.
Maybe we’ll have to start issuing freedom of information requests to our friends!
Even crazier was when the same friend went to the surgery so he could collect a patient friend to drive her home. He asked at reception if she was out of the doctor’s yet, to be told, “I’m not allowed to give you that information”.
Yet they want to know all about our lifestyles, so they can nanny us. A few years ago I decided to refuse to cooperate.
Maybe it’s not only to nanny us (shepherd us in the direction in which they want us to go). When you register at a new practice and they ask if you smoke and drink and if so, how much, maybe it’s to deny us treatment in the future, because it is clear that the money is not there to sustain the NHS, even in its current state of disrepair, for much longer.
Today, Frank Davis has a post about a department of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, “If You Don’t Quit, We Won’t Operate?”
Similar reports have been around for a few years now, yet in 1999, Gordon Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer decided,
SMOKERS WILL start contributing directly to their own healthcare through an NHS tobacco tax….
Smokers are surely legally entitled to treatment or they have been defrauded?
As an aside, Breitbart took up the Scotsman’s story and added,
Despite the best endeavours of the anti smoking lobby, what is little known is that the only objective research done into the lifetime costs of treating smokers compared to other lifestyles was completed in 2008 by the Dutch Health Ministry.
The results calculated by actuaries found the lifetime cost from the age of twenty was the following:
Yes, smokes (sic) are 22 percent cheaper to treat throughout their lifetime, mainly from premature mortality.
That’s not to mention the extra huge savings in pensions and care home costs for all the smokers who allegedly croak from a “smoking-related illness”.
But as is perfectly clear, the anti-smoking agenda has nothing to do with health, just as I am sure that the data-sharing schemes are not for our benefit.