HLC and privacy rights

by StarTrekAngel 17 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • StarTrekAngel

    Some time ago I used to work at a hospital. When my family members would receive treatment at this place, often times they would ask me if I could look up information for them regarding their health. I always had to tell them that privacy laws did not allow me to bypass the hospital's administration. If they needed information, even if they were entitled to it, they needed to go or call the place. I was in IT and I could not do this for them ( I did have access to the data). In one occasion, the said patient was my own kid. After getting some blood work done, I was anxious to know the results. I walked over to the lab and ID'd myself as the parent. They lab refused to give me the results because the doctor had not reviewed them yet. All I had to do was walk over to my office and pulled them up in my computer. Yet, technically I was not allowed to do this and if caught I could get fired.

    My question then is, how does the HLC force themselves into hospitals and begin to get involved in the health matters of witnesses? I know the patient may allow a third party to be involved but I read somewhere that witnesses are wary of even taking blood in secret, for fear that the HLC may find out.

  • StephaneLaliberte

    Well StarTreckAngel, you respect the law. The problem is that in the name of "Jehovah", many JWs will violate the law claiming that Jehovah's law is above all else. Hence, some delusional ones could be searching out the "false brothers/sisters" in their organization even if it means doing something "slightly" illegal.

  • ab.ortega

    I agree on thinking they are above the law. On an occasion or two elders bypassed privacy issues just to catch someone and bring them to a JC. I'm not sure but what was done would probably violate some law at the most.

  • blondie

    I believe the sister or brother give them permission in writing. The new HC POA has a part for that I think.

    The bigger problem is limiting who gets to waltz into your room unannounced. I have had a few operations in the last few years and have had to make it clear from the top on down that only the people on the list I provide can enter other than medical staff. Also, getting them to stop leaving my chart outside the door for any boob walking by to pick up and read. They said it was for MY convenience so they did not have to open the door; I asked how HIPPA was being kept if any bozo walking by could pick up my chart.

    I asked the hospital lawyer to meet with me to clear that up. My chart stayed in my room by my bed.....yay...though the medical staff were not so happy with me. My friend the nurse there told me that that the hospital legal staff had a meeting with the other staff that this chart procedure had to end.

  • scratchme1010

    I too agree that they think that they are above the law. Remember, they claim that this current system is worthless, deserving of destruction, and that they and only they are the ones with the one and only truth and in the path of remaining on Earth after all those "filthy" hospitals get destroyed.

    That grandiosity is what they come to hospitals with, demanding access to protected patient information.

  • Vidiot

    StarTrekAngel - "some delusional ones could be searching out the 'false brothers/sisters' in their organization even if it means doing something 'slightly' illegal...."

    I once heard a story from a pretty reliable source about a local elder who actually broke into one publisher's home to see if had porn on his computer.

  • LongHairGal

    Good thread!

    VIDIOT: I am not surprised at what you say about an elder who overstepped his boundaries like that. I heard similar things. This is why the elders can be individually sued. (Not sure: maybe not in all areas). On another thread a poster described being worried about what would happen to HER if her elder husband were sued.

    The problem with this HLC is that it is the PERFECT situation for Jehovah's Witnesses to seriously overstep boundaries and violate people's rights! They can and will behave like children snooping through somebody's bedroom...Hospitals should be informed!! This is a leak that better be plugged ASAP.

  • Landy

    In the U.K., the HLC would have to be invited in by the patient or patients next of kin.

    Even then, they are treated with the utmost suspicion by the medical staff and they will make sure no undue influence is made.

    if the patient is under18 there would be a court order obtained pdq if it's thought blood may be an issue.

  • Scully

    I've brought up this concern several times. Having worked in a hospital for almost 16 years, I realized that in the demographic information that is collected, often one of the entries is to specify the patient's religion. Once that detail is in the patient's record, individuals who are cleared by the hospital's Pastoral Care Team may have access to the list of patients who are affiliated with their religion.

    So, for example, as it happened to me, I specifically signed a document (while I was still a JW) that I was not in need of a visit from the Pastoral Care Team, who happened to be an Elder™ in the local Congregation™. In any case, the Elder™ showed up while I was behind a privacy curtain breastfeeding my newborn daughter, and he waltzed right in to greet me. I didn't know him from a hole in the ground, being from a different Congregation™ and Circuit™, and I sure wasn't impressed that he invaded my privacy the way he did, especially since I'd declined in writing any visits from the Pastoral Care team. I asked him how he learned of my presence in the hospital, and he informed me that he was given a list of all JWs in the hospital and my name and room number were on that list. I asked him if he was aware that I had declined a visit, and he said that he was, but he just wanted to make sure that I was all right, and whether he could bring me the Magazines™ or patch me in on the phone line for the Meeting™. I showed him that I did, indeed, have the current Magazines™, and that I declined the visit because I had Friends™ and family members visiting me, and that I felt that his time would be better spent looking after someone who was truly alone and needed the company, and I was being discharged home in the morning.

    I can only imagine how someone would feel completely ambushed if they had accepted a transfusion and then have someone like this show up to their room, uninvited, while the infusion was running.

    My advice, as an insider, to anyone who is going to hospital for surgery or in anticipation of unforeseen events (like an accident): please go to the hospital's Admitting Department and specifically request to have that little "JW" in your patient demographics REMOVED. This is how the HLC will find you if you are known in the hospital records to be a JW. If you don't want an ambush type visit, take care of it ASAP.

  • rebel8

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