Monday, January 2, 2012

Deja Vu? National Medical Devices Registry

Okay, I may be a suspicious soul, but do we need a national medical devices registry? See if the following gives you any pause:
S-202, An Act to establish and maintain a national registry of medical devices
Wasn't there a lot of noise about a recent national registry recently? Now, I am a lefty, but I would agree that we need gun laws that impact or inconvenience criminals instead of the law abiding public.

Let's take a closer look at this:
Text of Bill S-202

2. The following definitions apply in this Act.

"home-use medical device" means a medical device
  • intended to be used by a person in a home environment for purposes related to their health care; and
  • of a kind prescribed by the regulations.
5. (1) A medical practitioner who inserts an implantable medical device into a person’s body or who supplies a home-use medical device to a person shall, as soon as possible after doing so, submit to the Registrar, in the form prescribed by the regulations, the following information:
  • the name, date of birth and address of the person, if the person consents to the disclosure of the information;
  • the medical practitioner’s name;
  • the date on which, and the health care facility at which, the device was inserted or supplied;
  • the name and address of the manufacturer of the device;
  • the model designation of the device, if applicable;
  • the lot or serial number of the device; and
  • any other information prescribed by the regulations.
(2) A medical practitioner who inserts an implantable medical device into a person’s body or who supplies a home-use medical device to a person shall
  • inform the person of the nature and purpose of the Registry and the requirement to submit information to the Registrar; and
  • seek the consent of the person to the disclosure to the Registrar of the information referred to in paragraph (1)(a).
The bill goes on to say that those supplying such devices must submit information in various ways and that the information is not to be made available elsewhere.

Is it just me or does this sound like it would be easy for a socially conservative government to get the names and addresses of persons receiving syringes, birth control or other products -- and in particular the names and addresses of groups supplying such items (with only minor tweaks).

Oh wait, this type of thing could never happen! I guess that's why they repealed the gun registry, right?

I should note that warning affected citizens about dangers to medical devices as reported from manufacturers is a laudable goal.  In today's day and age perhaps people could optionally subscribe to a government site and receive notifications if they so choose. You could still trouble the manufacturers and medical industry to see if the user would like to be signed up -- and what information they would like to provide to the government, such as an anonymous gmail account.

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