- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)42
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)6
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)26
- Tanker truck catches fire near Oak Ridge (04/24/16)7
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
New health privacy rules start in April
Privacy issues have become big business. A whole industry -- telemarketing -- has been sharply curtailed by no-call laws intended to let people choose to protect their privacy. Many other laws regulate information that once was considered open to anyone. One good example: Parents can't find out the grades their children earn in college without the students' written consent.
The tension between a desire for privacy and the public's right to have access to information is growing. Effective April 14, new comprehensive federal regulations for health-care privacy take effect. These rules were written the Department of Health and Human Services at the behest of Congress after lawmakers were unable to resolve differences on the issue.
Many of the new privacy rules are commonsense guidelines. But some aren't. For example, members of the clergy will no longer have access to lists of hospital patients and may miss opportunities to call on parishioners or deliver Holy Communion.
There is a fine line between privacy rights and government-sponsored secrecy. The danger is knowing where to draw it.