Friday, June 15, 2007

Save My Grave

Wow! Another great "Golden Hippo" nominee for creative use of HIPAA. This time it is Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, who has declared that numbered markers on graves from the state mental hospital from over a century ago cannot be indentified by name, because of HIPAA. The McCook Daily Gazette disagrees:

We understand Nebraska Health and Human Services' reluctance to release patient information -- most of us wouldn't want such information about ourselves to be made public.

But we have seen HIPAA used as an excuse for all sorts of obstruction, from the condition of accident victims to the location of a house fire.

We have to question the need to conceal the name or date of death for someone who died nearly 120 years ago, especially to people who only want to trace their family trees.

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