Keep private conversations – private!

Gracey HitchcockClick the topmost title and scroll

Have you ever heard of a medical scribe? I predict you will and very soon. Someone is spending a lot on PR to sell the idea. A medical scribe is a person trained person to sit and record your interaction with your own doctor during an exam.


This is a serious proposal. The idea is to free your doctor to “concentrate” on you. I can think of nothing more invasive and counterproductive. I am a private person and I have no interest in having anyone listen or record my private conversations with anyone.


Having interviewed many doctors, I know medical records are far from confidential. It is not that people don’t try it is just not possible when records pass through so many hands — so why add an extra pair of ears and lips?


That is one reason why many doctors write very little beyond essential information in patient files. Most have their own notetaking systems– and they know their patients. Contrary, to what people behind the scribe business – and this is nothing but a business – contend laptops and other electronic devices have made things easier for most doctors so they don’t need a little helper. Also, I don’t care how “professional” these note-takers are anyone else is inhibiting that is why even if there is an exam chaperone most doctors talk privately after so patients are free to voice concerns.


If you feel as I do and you don’t want a spectator recording your private conversations speak up before this is forced on doctors and patients. If you don’t think insurance companies and others would just love to have a pair of ears typing every little word you say to your doctors – think again. You never know who will see all those neatly typed transcriptions or what they will do with them. Let’s keep private conversations – private!



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Expectations of privacy

penClick on top title to open and scroll  I wonder if we have given up all expectations of privacy, and I don’t mean because the government is spying on our phone calls and reading our emails. I am more concerned about situations like Donald Sterling’s. And let me say right now, I find his comments and attitudes despicable and unacceptable. But I question if I or anyone else should have heard his or anyone else’s private conversations that have been secretly recorded.     A pen this small can record conversations

Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz also condemned the Los Angeles Clippers owner’s “very bad” racist comments, according to Newsmax.  “I don’t think we want the thought police to be intruding on people’s private conversations,” Dershowitz said. In the same Newsmax article Dershowitz also said, “We need to preserve privacy… We need to be able to preserve a person’s ability to share his thoughts, even if we don’t agree with his thoughts, with private people.”
I agree with Professor Dershowitz. When we stop protecting any individual’s right to speak freely in his or her home we open the door to all kinds of unsavoury behavior. An expectation of privacy in your own home is basic and should be sacred. Allowing people to use secretly-recorded conversations to manipulate events should not be sanctioned. For while many people may believe it is just and fair to force the sale of an NBA team from a billionaire who makes racist statements, who is to say how the precedent of using secretly-recorded conversations will be used next?