On Wednesday October 6, the District Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Florida, ruled against Rush Limbaugh in his bid to keep his medical records private after the State of Florida seized them in a fishing expedition looking for evidence of “doctor-shopping.”
The American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) filed an amicus curie brief in that case since it affects the privacy of all medical records and the ability of the government to seize them with just the most slender of threads of “probable cause.”
AAPS General Counsel Andrew Schlafly says it signals an “open season on everyone’s medical records and everyone in the country needs to start playing hide and seek with their doctor.”
Last April, AAPS ran a national newspaper ad in USA Today and others with a masked doctor, warning patients, “You have the right to remain silent….” It seems that dire prediction is now coming true.
“We’d better tell doctors to Mirandize every patient – tell them ‘You have the right to remain silent’ – because this is the end of privacy in medical records. The message to patients is clear: anything you tell your doctor can and will be used against you,” warns Mr. Schlafly.
Rush Limbaugh has not been charged with a crime, and yet the State of Florida seized access to many of his highly personal medical records, without prior notice. The State even grabbed medical records unrelated to its investigation.
This ruling could not come at a worse time, as Senators Bill Frist and Hillary Clinton have banded together to promote a federal plan towards electronic databases of all patients
Read the entire AAPS statement, the court’s ruling and the AAPS brief at