Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Privacy laws violated by healthcare provider

Farrah Fawcett: Dealing with cancer much easier when not "under a microscope"
Westlake Ent. Group © Westlake Ent. Group
CBS Channel 8 San Diego

...The former Charlie's Angels star said that unlike other cancer patients, she has not been given the right of privacy and the opportunity to choose with whom she wants to share the news of her illness...

The 62-year-old's cancer fight has been in the news since she disclosed it in October 2006. Since then, the actress has denounced the National Enquirer for publishing leaked details of her illness, and even set up a sting operation to prove to UCLA Medical Center that one of its employees was responsible for sharing the information.

Fawcett was shocked to see how quickly her diagnosis appeared in the Enquirer. "I couldn't believe how fast it came out," Fawcett said. "Maybe four days."

Partly because of Fawcett's experience, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law tougher penalties for people and entities that violate patients' privacy.

Federal prosecutors who investigated the case accused a UCLA employee of receiving $4,600 in checks from the Enquirer in her husband's name. The employee pleaded guilty to a felony charge of violating federal medical privacy laws but died of cancer before she could be sentenced.

No comments: