Pruitt WA 1 Health Law


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WA 01

(50 pts)

Your assignment is to:

  1. methodically review the Court Case (Fourth Amendment Right to Privacy) case in chapter 8 of your text book; 2. state, compare, and contrast the simple rules of law found in each case; and 3. comment on the jurisdictions or courts the cases come from and the impact they will have on healthcare where you are going to be employed. 

You may adjust the margins and the fonts when necessary.  However, I would prefer that your answers be in 12 point font or greater “if possible”.  Do not let your work exceed one page.

Exercise your ability to concisely summarize without leaving out important facts.  Be realistic yet creative in your answers.  Assume that your boss, who only has a limited amount of time to deal with any issue, will be making business decisions upon the information that you provide and the authority to grant you the promotion that you strongly desire. 

When writing your responses use as many applicable “key words” from the chapter as possible.  Make sure that you are using them correctly.  Never take credit for work that is not yours.  When in doubt, use quotation marks and tell where the information came from.   Remember, be concise, one page is the limit.  Make only one submission to Assignments for this assignment.  Use your best writing skills, spell check at least three times, and save that hard work that you have done. 

Fourth Amendment Right to Privacy

Every state in the nation, except Missouri, has a prescription monitoring database. The original purpose of these prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) databases was an attempt to address the overdose deaths attributed to prescription medication, prescription drug diversion, and doctor shopping. PDMPs were intended to help law enforcement find the physicians who were overprescribing pain medications in a pattern that indicated possible fraud. Each state’s laws and databases were different.

However, access to PDMPs for purposes other than limiting illicit use of opioid narcotics has created questions about Fourth Amendment rights. State laws vary in terms of what drugs are tracked and who in the law enforcement community, as well as the health care community, has access to these databases. Only 19 states require a warrant for law enforcement to access their PDMP.

Oregon created its PDMP in 2009, prioritizing patient privacy and requiring a court order for law enforcement to search the PDMP. The federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) ignored that law and filed administrative subpoenas in pursuit of investigations into drug diversion. The DEA argued that it has a compelling interest that supplants privacy under the Fourth Amendment and that requiring a warrant affects its ability to conduct a timely and effective investigation.

The state of Oregon filed a lawsuit against the DEA, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) joined the case. In early 2014, a U.S. District Court granted the plaintiffs motion for summary judgment and denied the federal government’s motion, with the result that the DEA must get a warrant to access the prescription records in Oregon. The DEA has appealed that decision, but as of July 2016, no decision has been reached at the federal appellate level.

In another case in July 2015, a U.S. District Court judge in Texas ruled for the DEA that an administrative subpoena may be used to search medical records. That case is also under appeal.

In July 2016, the ACLU filed a similar case in Utah.

Source: State of Oregon v. U.S., DOJ Case No. 3:12-cv-02023-HA US District Court, Portland Division, February 2014; U.S. v Zadeh Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit No. 15 10195, April 2016

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