For the emerging technocracy, saving money on health care and promoting “wellness” have become the ready excuses for government intrusions into the personal sphere. The UK’s NHS is leading the way on several fronts — rationing, using health care to promote certain social justice ends, and now, to gather mass information on citizens. From the Daily Mail story:

GPs are to be forced to hand over confidential records on all their patients’ drinking habits, waist sizes and illnesses. The files will be stored in a giant information bank that privacy campaigners say represents the ‘biggest data grab in NHS history’. They warned the move would end patient confidentiality and hand personal information to third parties. The data includes weight, cholesterol levels, body mass index, pulse rate, family health history, alcohol consumption and smoking status. Diagnosis of everything from cancer to heart disease to mental illness would be covered. Family doctors will have to pass on dates of birth, postcodes and NHS numbers.

Confidentially is assured, of course! But then, so are our IRS records that have, from time-to-time in the agency’s history, been leaked against certain political undesirables.

The technocrats are creating a lucrative industry of compiling and analyzing medical information for use in trying to keep healthcare costs down and with which to develop “best practice” guidelines. Thus — HIPAA or no HIPAA — if we continue to follow the Obamacare road, controlling healthcare costs will excuse ever-deeper intrusions by the bureaucrats into our lives. Remember, there is now talk of the government urging doctors to inquire about guns that may be in your house. It isn’t just to tell you to keep the weapon locked in a safe.

And good grief, with all the record keeping, data compiling, and reporting doctors may have in store, when will they have the time to actually practice medicine?

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Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC
Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC