Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Don't Sign It Til You've Read It!

We have an appointment with a member of the health care profession tomorrow. The clinic was kind enough to send the the required forms to us ahead of time so we could have it all filled out and signed, ready to hand over when we walk in the door.

I learned how to read a long time ago, and as a young adult was taught to use that skill, and never EVER sign a document, until I read everything, including, and especially the "fine print".
I read through the 4 page "privacy policy" last night, and had Daniel read it this morning. Quite frankly it left us both wondering why they wasted the paper printing it, when a brief paragraph, such as I've included below summarizing the whole thing would've done the trick.

We believe privacy is overrated. We can share any information we glean about you or your family with anyone we please, about anything we please, at any time we please, including, but not limited to the taxi driver who dropped you off . If you disagree with this policy you may request, in writing that we not share with a given entity, but we don't have to honor that request. By signing this document you agree that the Patient-Doctor Confidentiality clause is an outdated notion.

As Americans of a certain generation, who have memories of a time when the government didn't have their collective noses stuck in the middle of most everytthing you can imagine, right down to the library books you read, when SS numbers were not considered a form of ID for anything other than employment or banking, when personal really meant personal, we were not comfortable signing this document, which amounted to little more than a permission slip for invasion of privacy.

This morning I called the clinic, and explained our unwillingness to give away our rights with the mere stroke of a pen. Evidently we are not the only ones in this county (this clinic seems to be the only provider of the services we are need of within this county), who bothered to read before signing. I was informed that, provided we were not requesting billing to an insurance company, we could request, and sign an alternate form when we arrive for our appointment.

We are keeping our appointment tomorrow, but you can bet we'll be totin' our fine toothed comb to assist in reading the alternate form.

We may be from the boondocks, but our parents taught us to use the brains God gave us!

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