Your medical records could be sold to the highest bidder. But not if we can stop it.
Starting this year, private companies will be able to buy information on us from the NHS’s new universal patient database — including everything from mental health conditions, sexually transmitted infections and diseases like cancer — all linked to your postcode, gender and ethnicity.
We’ve all been opted into the scheme by the government without our knowledge. And the clock is ticking — the government has said they will upload our private data in a matter of just a few weeks. If we’re going to stop this, we have to act now.
Tell Jeremy Hunt And The NHS Not To Sell Our Private Medical Data
It does not really get more private than what you discuss with your doctor. They know the most personal things about us — like whether we’ve ever been depressed, had an embarrassing infection or struggled with drug and alcohol problems. Now imagine, private companies trawling through your records looking for interesting information.
The government claims that individuals won’t be able to be identified. However, many experts have warned that under the current plans, we could easily be singled out through simple cross-referencing of other databases — especially if you have a rare or unusual condition. Imagine your employer finding that you might have had an abortion when you were a teenager. Or your insurance company finding out you are HIV positive. The consequences for us as individuals could be huge.
We know that when we act together, we can bring about real change. When we fought to get High Street names like River Island and Edinburgh Woollen Mill to sign up to protect Bangladeshi factory workers, we won! Now we need to step up to defend something precious — our right to privacy.
Stop The Sale Of Our Personal Medical Information To Big Corporations
It is possible, and, I believe essential, to OPT-OUT of this dangerous infringement of your right to choose with whom you consult about your health, but the opt-out is not absolute. Your instructions can, and will, be over-ridden in circumstances, which are, so far, undefined, but not denied.
I believe that it is critical to our health, and to our freedom, that each and every one of us takes personal responsibility for doing everything we can to prevent the government from destroying our right to confidential medical consultations.
Our true belief in freedom is not shown by how much of it is given, but by how little it is denied.
Your government cannot give you freedom, for it already belongs to you, but it can easily be stolen from those who do not use, or defend it.
If you believe that you should be free to make choices about your health, then please Sign The Petition, share it with your friends, family, colleagues, everyone you know, and encourage them to sign too.
Thanks to The Alliance For Natural Health for alerting me to the petition.
The Guardian, 19 January 2014.
Health And Social Care Information Centre, January 2014
Daily Mail, 5 February 2014