Friday, May 24, 2013

Kaiser Permanente broke Oregon law, tested 6,500 for HIV without their knowledge or consent and won't delete the records

Nick Budnick of The Oregonian reports that Kaiser Permanente Northwest is apologizing to nearly 6,500 members whose blood was tested for the virus without their knowledge or consent in an apparent violation of state law, but says that in spite of patient complaints, the test records won't be deleted.

     Kaiser Permanente's policy follows a federal recommendation last month to test virtually all adults for HIV, as long as they're given the chance to decline it. Kaiser started with patients ages 50-65, but neglected to inform many of them, according to the health system.  
     Last year, in an effort to increase screening rates, the Oregon Legislature lessened the consent requirements for HIV tests, saying patients could be informed in writing, rather than verbally as previously required. The law requires a chance to opt out, and allows for people to sue if not given that chance.
     David Fidanque  of the ACLU of Oregon says the Kaiser misstep would never have happened if not for the new law. Now the notification and option to decline can be buried in screenings' fine print.

(Via Rod 2.0)

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