Tag Archives: confidentiality agreement

Centrifuge of Infinite Rage – Part 1 – Fracking Secrets > Health

I’m going to spin up the Centrifuge of Infinite Rage(TM) and leave it running for a while because there is some Grade-A bullshit I need to vent about.  Item the first.  The proprietary nature of the chemicals used in Fracking are so, “fracking” (HA!), important that Pennsylvania now has a law which prevents doctors from sharing information about those chemicals with their patients.  Because, why the hell would the patient need to know about it?

Here’s the actual wording of the piece in question:

(10)  A vendor, service company or operator shall
identify the specific identity and amount of any chemicals
claimed to be a trade secret or confidential proprietary
information to any health professional who requests the
information in writing if the health professional executes a
confidentiality agreement and provides a written statement of
need for the information indicating all of the following:

(i)  The information is needed for the purpose of
diagnosis or treatment of an individual.
(ii)  The individual being diagnosed or treated may
have been exposed to a hazardous chemical.
(iii)  Knowledge of information will assist in the
diagnosis or treatment of an individual.

(11)  If a health professional determines that a medical
emergency exists and the specific identity and amount of any
chemicals claimed to be a trade secret or confidential
proprietary information are necessary for emergency
treatment, the vendor, service provider or operator shall
immediately disclose the information to the health
professional upon a verbal acknowledgment by the health
professional that the information may not be used for
purposes other than the health needs asserted and that the
health professional shall maintain the information as
confidential. The vendor, service provider or operator may
request, and the health professional shall provide upon
request, a written statement of need and a confidentiality
agreement from the health professional as soon as
circumstances permit, in conformance with regulations
promulgated under this chapter.

Full text of the bill (for those of you into masochism)

…so…according to that, an oil company could legally withhold vital information regarding exposure to hazardous chemicals needed to treat a patient if the doctor doesn’t first promise to keep whatever they’re told secret.  I presume the presence of nurses and/or other hospital staff could complicate those matters somewhat?  Do they all need to pinky swear that they won’t tell?

The equation is all fucked up, it is not:

Corporate Secrets > Health

It is:

Health > All-the-other-things!

The health and well being of the populace must come first, how is this even a story?  How backwards do we have it if we can’t get this most basic of ideas correct?

The mind reels.  Someone actually wrote that bill.  Worse, a bunch of other people said “Okey Dokey!!  It’s now a fucking LAW!!??!!” – there is no rage face sufficient to express how completely fucked up and evil that is.  No amount of “F”s or “U”s in any combination can properly describe how vile this is.

Dear Pennsylvania,

May I, politely, suggest that you round up your elected representatives and remind them whose interests they’re supposed to be protecting (without pitchforks, torches and firearms…ya know, if possible).

Actually, fuck that.  Drag them out into the street and demand answers.

You’re entitled to them.

Original Story/Rage Source: For Pennsylvania’s Doctors, a Gag Order on Fracking Chemicals – The Atlantic