Should your medical records be protected from prying eyes? Huge majorities of Americans think so.
According to a Gallup Poll, 92 percent of Americans oppose government agencies looking at their medical records without their permission, and 82 percent oppose insurance companies pawing through their records without their permission. Sixty-seven percent even oppose researchers looking at their records without their consent.
We think of our medical records the way we think of our homes—unless there is a compelling public interest at stake (such as solving a crime or stopping an epidemic), we believe our homes and our medical records should not be invaded by state officials or private parties unless we say it’s OK.
Until last spring, Minnesota law reflected the high value Minnesotans place on medical privacy. Minnesota has long had a law that says your medical records can’t be shown to third parties without your written consent. But the Minnesota Legislature ripped a huge hole in that law on May 29.