“I am suing Kaiser?” seethes B, a high school alum of mine, naturalized, and 6-decade resident in this country.
“What about?” I ask, surprised.
“They wouldn’t give me my wife’s lab test results nor let me make an appointment for her, saying she should call. I explained she was at work and had asked me to take care of it but that snooty receptionist refused, invoking medical privacy. I identified myself as her husband, giving my Social Security Number, date of birth, etc., but no dice.”
“It’s not just Kaiser but all medical service providers that are bound by the same rule.”
“Even between husband and wife? I know every inch of Jungja’s body.”
“Yeah, but there can still be secrets.”
“Like genetic problems running in the family that she would rather keep to herself.”
“No, we had full disclosure early on, prior to having children. My grandfather died of a stroke but otherwise no genetic disease to speak of on my side. Hers is clean, too. There is nothing we hide from each other.”
“Unlike you, other husbands or wives may have things to hide from each other, though not genetic.”
“Someone contracting an STD by extramarital sex will defend medical privacy tooth and nail so he or she can get it treated without the spouse’s knowledge.”
“Disgusting! So its sole purpose is to protect and encourage adultery on a national scale. No wonder there is so much cheating and divorce going on. We should launch a national movement to abolish it and save the country from moral decay and perdition.”
“Start at the grass roots, talk to our pastors and get it going within our churches, then expand to other churches in town, in the county, in the state, in the whole nation. The ground swell of moral indignation will compel the Congress to repeal medical privacy between husband and wife.”
“It may be tough going because privacy of whatever stripe is sacrosanct in the American psyche like a basic human right. Particularly tough will be the last hurdle, Congress, few of its members untouched by an affair, perhaps thereby accurately representing their constituencies.”