Joined: Jun 06, 2003
|Posted: 2005-01-04 12:50 pm  Permalink|
This article was taken from Drunkard magazine.
No one should drink and drive, especially in PA.. But now you can't even trust your doctor?
~Man Loses Driver’s Licence After
Doctors Rats Him Out to the Man ~
Harrisburg, PA — A man who told his doctors that he drinks a six-pack of beer per day is now fighting to get his driver’s license back.
After Keith Emerich, 44, revealed his perfectly legal drinking habit, the physicians reported him to the Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation who decided that was enough reason to revoke his licence. Emerich stated that he never drinks and drives.
A state law enacted in the 1960s requires doctors to report any physical or mental impairments that could compromise a patient’s ability to drive safely.
Emerich received a notice from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in April that his license was being revoked effective May 6 for medical reasons related to substance abuse. The law requires revocation of the license until the driver can prove he is competent to drive.
Emerich petitioned a judge to restore the license and appeared at a hearing on July 29. The ruling judge has two weeks to decide if Emerich’s license will be returned.
“This is more about my privacy than my license,” Emerich said after the hearing. “They had no right to take my license away for drinking at my house. I wasn’t driving.”
Joan Nissley of the Pennsylvanian Dept. of Transportation said she could not discuss the details of Emerich’s case because of confidentiality requirements that also protect the doctor from being identified. Apparently doctor-patient confidentiality doesn’t come into play.
Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a San Diego-based watchdog group, said cases like Emerich’s highlight a tension between medical privacy and public safety.
“Certainly, cases like this could lead individuals to refrain from giving their doctors adequate information to treat them,” Givens said.
Pennsylvania’s transportation agency receives about 40,000 medical reports and revokes 5,000 to 6,000 licenses per year but does not keep statistics on its reasons for doing so.
[ This Message was edited by: Unga Bunga on 2005-01-04 12:51 ]