Constitutional Health Network:
Medical Privacy

If you have a smartphone, you may have noticed that every time you install an app it asks for “permissions.” An app may ask to use your camera, or to connect to your Facebook account. It may ask to use your location or to access your contact list or to connect to the internet. There’s a nearly endless list of “permissions” an app may need in order to work properly. And with each “permission” you give to an app, it can gather data—data that can be collected and sent to faceless corporations or sold on the open market. Your phone can access your email account and log your emails. It can monitor your Facebook account. It can log every key you press on the keyboard, every phone number you call. Anything you do through your phone can be noted and recorded. Now Big Medicine and Big Pharma want to harness the power of the cell phone to monitor you twenty-four hours per day…and the level they want to take this monitoring to is ...

Last month a California hospital was the victim of "ransomware." You probably know what a computer virus is. You may have experienced first-hand the havoc viruses can wreak. But if you've never heard the term ransomware before, here's the five-second definition: ransomware is a virus that locks you out of your own computer, then forces you to pay cash to get access to your own stuff. Like old-fashioned computer viruses, there are different types of ransomware. Some install pornography on your computer that won't go away till you pay up. Some install a program that hijacks your screen, covering everything up so that you just can't click on anything. Some encrypt your files and make them unreadable. In all these cases, the only solution is to pay the "computer kidnapper" whatever they ask or to buy a new computer. The FBI actually recommends just paying the "ransom" rather than trying to fight it. In the case of the California ...

The NSA has access to all of our phone conversations and texts. Google and Facebook track everything we do online. Now GE wants to store all of your medical information online. What could possibly go wrong?   A decade and a half ago, when the idea of electronic medical records started to take off, they sounded like a good idea. Technology was still a shiny new toy that we hadn’t gotten bored with. Much of the real work of the world was still done on paper. Electronic medical records promised to give doctors more time with patients by reducing paperwork.   Going digital was supposed to give us easy access to our own records. It was supposed to allow different members of the “healthcare team” to share information — notes, lab results, and even things like X-rays. It was supposed to streamline the whole process so healthcare providers could focus on their real jobs — taking care of patients — rather than acting as insurance ...

Vaccines have fallen off the radar since the end of the 2015 measles “outbreaks,” which the media so desperately wanted to call an epidemic. However, just because they're not getting the 24/7 news coverage of last winter doesn't mean we can forget about the issue.   In the past nine months many states quietly introduced pro-vaccine legislation. All was intended to  remove your rights and further the agenda of mandatory vaccination for one and all. One popular type of bill seeks to tag, track, and marginalize those who choose not to vaccinate. Using schools to fan the flames Of the many different tracking trends, the most popular ones use schools to publish the “vaccination status” of students. One type of bill forces schools to publish only the percentage of students up to date on shots. Currently there are no repercussions for “underperforming” schools, but it's no stretch of the imagination to see this ...

When we accepted the “Affordable Care Act”—when we didn’t stand up en masse and simply refuse to comply—we sent a very clear message to all the Big Guys. The message was this: as a country, we’re willing to do whatever we’re told. Even when it violates our rights. Even when it’s not in our best interests. Even when it costs us money we simply don’t have. And even when it hurts our health. A lot of oppressive health laws have passed in the wake of the ACA, and more have been proposed. But there’s a piece of legislation on the table right now that should shake us up, wake us up, and light the fire under us that the ACA failed to kindle. It’s called the “21st Century Cures Act,” and if you care about your health or your family’s health it should scare the living crap out of you. Here are just a few of the things this bill proposes: It would give your private health information to ...

Several years ago, my mother was hospitalized with pneumonia. My father had already passed on, and I spent several days and nights trying to fill his shoes at her bedside in the hospital ward. I still remember the dizzying array of gadgets and monitors she was connected to. Gadgets to measure her pulse. Gadgets to measure the amount of oxygen in her blood. Gadgets to measure God knows what else. Just getting up to go to the bathroom was a major chore that required a nurse to come in and unhook everything. Being connected to all that technology was uncomfortable and stressful. It made it impossible for her to get comfortable. It made sleep difficult—every time she turned over, something came unhooked. The lights and beeps from the monitors kept her awake too. Then of course there were the constant interruptions of nurses coming in to read the monitors and write down what they said. And each time they left, the nurses would say the same thing: “Get some ...

Not too long ago, I visited an orthopedic surgeon for treatment of a hammertoe. The solution was surgery, a simple procedure that could be done on an outpatient basis. He quoted me a price of $1500, and a week later I had the surgery. No hassle, no fuss, and I was back on my feet in ten days. While I was recovering, I spoke with a friend of mine who told me he’d had the same procedure done a few months before. That in itself was not surprising—hammertoe is a common problem, and the surgery is standard treatment. What was surprising was how much he’d paid. Where I had paid a mere $1500, my friend’s surgery, performed at the same facility and by the same surgeon, had cost him an astonishing $5000—more than three times what I had paid. The difference? My friend’s surgery was “covered” by his insurance, whereas I had opted to pay cash. The secret no one tells you about medical bills While this story might sound shocking, it ...

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