Sheriffs in North Carolina want access to computerized records showing which patients receive prescriptions for controlled substances according to a report in the Charlotte News and Observer. While this might be of some benefit in fighting abuse of prescription medications, it violates some important principles. This includes a presumption of innocence, as opposed to assuming that anyone suffering from chronic pain who requires prescriptions for controlled substances may be committing a crime. This also violates our current policies regarding patient confidentiality. The American Civil Liberties has questioned this invasion of privacy:
The ACLU opposed a bill in 2007 that would have opened the list to law enforcement officials, said ACLU lobbyist Sarah Preston. The organization would likely object to the new proposal.
“What really did concern us is the privacy aspect,” she said. Opening the record to more users could deter someone from getting necessary medicine because of the fear that others would find out, she said, “particularly in small towns where everybody knows everybody.”
Why doesn’t the tea party ever protest against this type of big government?