Thursday, March 12, 2009

Should Doctors Report Patients' Blackouts to State?

Here's an issue that raises serious, competing privacy and public safety concerns. The Chicago Tribune reports that a man whose "daughter was killed in a...crash caused by a driver who lost consciousness" has proposed "legislation that would keep people who suffer blackouts from getting behind the wheel." Under the measure, "physicians would be required to report all patients" who have "been told not to drive because" they experience blackouts "to state officials, who could then revoke their driver's licenses." But, according to a spokesman for Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, the proposal "could be counterproductive in that it may discourage patients from being honest with their doctors."

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