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15 July, 2023

Privacy Betrayed: The Disturbing Reality of Weaponized Medical Records

icon Medical records,privacy,Republican AGs
Dangers of your personal medical records being weaponized against you

Healthcare is a personal decision between you and your doctor. Bad things happen when politicians weaponize your private medical records.

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch (R) Wants Info On Out-of-State Abortions - Mississippi Free Press
Tennessee AG Jonathan Skrmetti (R) is seeking patient referrals, doctors records in VUMC transgender clinic inquiry - The Tennessean

"... recent court filings contained a trio of legal documents called civil investigative demands, or CIDs, that VUMC received from the attorney general's office in recent months. Those documents show the broad sweep of information Tennessee officials are seeking, beyond the medical records, a disclosure that has alarmed Tennessee LGBTQ advocates over privacy concerns. The Attorney General's Office, for instance, in March sought nearly a decade's worth of emails sent to and from an email address for a VUMC LGBTQ program not specifically affiliated with its transgender care clinic, among other documents." - The Tennessean

Follow along with this relationship map to understand the dangers of private medical records being weaponized in six hypothetical scenarios.

Republican AGs weaponize your personal health data

Intimidation campaign

"Given the specialty areas General Skrmetti is targeting, his actions give the appearance that he is improperly weaponizing and abusing the broad CID powers of the Attorney General's office to carry out an intimidation campaign against one of our state’s preeminent healthcare facilities and its providers and patients for the purpose of promoting his own radical political agenda or that of an extremist faction within his political party," Clemmons said.

Republican supermajority

"Skrmetti said last fall his office planned to investigate VUMC's practices after conservative advocates published allegations that the facility punished those who objected to its gender-affirming treatment program for children and that some treatments were used as money-making schemes.

  • Vanderbilt denied the allegations, but the story sparked a major backlash among Tennessee conservatives, particularly regarding treatments for transgender adolescents. Skrmetti's office and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee vowed in September to investigate the clinic's practices over allegations of "illegal" conduct, though neither cited any current laws VUMC potentially ran afoul of at the time.
  • The VUMC controversy led to heated debates within the General Assembly this spring, when the Republican supermajority dedicated its first piece of legislation to banning all gender transition treatment for minors."

Health care should remain a private decision

"Democrats and local families with transgender children lobbied unsuccessfully against the bill, arguing health care should remain a private decision between doctors and families.
- New records filed in federal court outline the information the Attorney General's Office is seeking from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Those documents extend beyond patient medical records.
- The office confirmed it was investigating potential medical billing fraud related to VUMC's transgender care, which has become a lightning rod in an increasingly contentious Tennessee political battle over transgender rights.
- The Attorney General's Office, for instance, in March sought nearly a decade's worth of emails sent to and from an email address for a VUMC LGBTQ program not specifically affiliated with its transgender care clinic, among other documents." - The Tennessean

Republicans weaponize your personal medical records

Mississippi Attorney General Wants Info On Out-of-State Abortions, Gender-Affirming Care*

"Mississippi authorities need access to information about residents who obtain abortions or gender-affirming care in other states, Attorney General Lynn Fitch told the Biden administration in a June 16 letter. Attorneys general from 18 other states attorneys general signed onto the letter.

They want your private health information

Fitch’s letter calls on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to drop a proposed rule change that would prevent states from obtaining private health information “for a criminal, civil, or administrative investigation into or proceeding against any person in connection with seeking, obtaining, providing, or facilitating reproductive health care … outside of the state where the investigation or proceeding is authorized” and “is lawful in the state where it is provided.” - Mississippi Free Press

How to use the weaponization of Personal Health Data map

TakeAway: Call out the MAGA Republicans weaponizing your private health data against you. Vote for Democrats.

Deepak
DemLabs

DISCLAIMER: ALTHOUGH THE DATA FOUND IN THIS BLOG AND INFOGRAPHIC HAS BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED CAN BE MADE REGARDING THE ACCURACY, COMPLETENESS, LEGALITY OR RELIABILITY OF ANY SUCH INFORMATION. THIS DISCLAIMER APPLIES TO ANY USES OF THE INFORMATION WHETHER ISOLATED OR AGGREGATE USES THEREOF.

Image credit: Alexis Bledel as Ofglen in the Handmaid's Tale. Photo: George Kraychyk/Hulu

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