Medical Marijuana and Privacy Concerns: and Ethical Perspective

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Medical Marijuana and Privacy Concerns; an ethical perspective.

Grand Canyon University
NRS 437V
Megan K. Rolfing
June 27, 2011

Medical Marijuana and Privacy concerns; an ethical perspective.
This article will look at an issue that has recently come up in Colorado with the medical marijuana issue. A bill was put to vote that raised some privacy concerns. The Denver Post listed and article titled: Medical Marijuana advocates raise privacy concerns by John Ingold. The proposed bill would require that dispensaries (a legal marijuana store under some state laws) video tape transactions taking place between dispensaries and medical marijuana patients, purchases be documented, and personal information be recorded. The details of all transactions, including photocopies of medical marijuana licenses, would be kept in an electronic database ( 2011).

The ethical issues raised by supporters of medical marijuana included not only privacy, but freedom to feel safe from harassment from DEA (Drug enforcement agency) and other federal officials. Although medical marijuana is supported by a handful of states, it is still illegal under federal law. According to the controlled substance provisions, marijuana is a schedule I, meaning it is not recognized for medical use and highly addictive (medical-dictionary 2011). Privacy is covered under the HIPPA (Health insurance privacy portability act), which applies to medical doctors, dentists, psychologists, and pharmacists, to name a few. All covered entities must comply with rule requirements to protect the privacy and security of health information. State laws that are contrary to the privacy rule are preempted by federal requirements. There are exceptions related to: reporting of disease or injury, child abuse, birth, death, public health surveillance, investigation, or intervention. The ways exceptions are determined are related to fraud/abuse of healthcare, enforcement of health plans,...
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