Patient privacy protection act.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D.-N.Y.)
recently introduced legislation to keep confidential medical records out
of court. The legislation was introduced in response to attempts by U.S.
Attorney General John Ashcroft to review the medical records of women
who have had abortions as part of the government's effort to uphold
the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003. The new legislation (S.
2827/H.R. 5126) seeks to clarify that under federal rules of evidence,
doctor-patient privilege protects a patient's confidential medical
information in court. Under the bill, medical records would be released
only in cases in which the court determines that the public interest
significantly outweighs the patient's right to privacy. "The
American people will not and should not accept a government that feels
free to rifle through and publicize their most private medical
information," Rep. Nadler said.