Medical Privacy Hearing in KS
Statement by Peter Brownlie, President/CEO, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri
TOPEKA, KANSAS — On Thursday, September 8, 2005, the Kansas Supreme Court heard arguments in Comprehensive Health's appeal to protect the covenant between a doctor and his or her patient — a covenant of privacy that all citizens expect and deserve.
"We are pleased that the Justices' questions went quickly to the heart of this case, and we are optimistic that we will prevail in protecting the confidentiality of women's private and personal medical records," said Peter Brownlie, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. "We will continue to fight to protect the privacy of our patients and the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship."
Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri and Women's Health Care of Wichita are fighting to protect dozens of confidential patient records that have been subpoenaed as part of an "inquisition" (K.S.A Chapter 22) pursued by anti-choice Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline. The clinics have appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court to safeguard the information, the women and their medical privacy. The Court heard oral arguments on the appeal this afternoon. Lee Thompson, of the Thompson Law Firm in Wichita [and a former U.S. Attorney for Kansas], argued on behalf of the clinics.
The subpoenas, prepared by Attorney General Kline's office and issued by a Topeka court in September 2004, ordered Comprehensive Health and Women's Health Care to hand over dozens of complete medical records of abortion patients, including identifying information and full medical and sexual histories. The clinics first sought in the lower court to protect their patients' identities and any medical information not relevant to the investigation. When those requests were denied, the clinics appealed to the Supreme Court.