Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > In the News - Pet related articles and stories in the press > Newspaper Articles of Interest (animal/pet related) from Around the World

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old May 25th, 2004, 09:52 AM
petnews's Avatar
petnews petnews is offline
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 220
Privacy act used for pets, other animals

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - The University of Georgia's veterinary hospital treats thousands of horses, cats, dogs, birds, reptiles and other pets each year. But don't ask about them - that's information for their owners only.

Hospital officials apply the same confidentiality rules for humans to their animal patients. That means no disclosure of medical conditions, no photos taken without an owner's consent.

It even extends to the large-animal unit, where milling about is not allowed. An owner can stand only near the stall of his pet.

"It's like a human hospital," said LaDon Wallis, a new graduate of UGA's veterinarian school who has worked at its animal hospital for six years. "It's not just this place where animals are having a field day like a park. People should respect that."

More veterinarians, animal hospitals and zoos nationwide are holding back patient information since last year, when the federal privacy Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act went into effect at human hospitals.

Also last year, the American Animal Hospital Association introduced accreditation standards requiring policies that protect the privacy of animals treated by its 3,000 members in the United States and Canada.

"There has been an increase in awareness on the part of our profession that we should respect the legal limitations of medical records," said Link Welborn, a Tampa, Fla., veterinarian and past president of the Denver-based association.

HIPAA has "probably raised our profession's awareness about potential liability," he said.

At the UGA hospital, staff members were forced to hang signs on patients' charts saying they were confidential to keep away wandering eyes. "People would just be flipping through the records," Wallis said.

The University of Tennessee's Veterinary Teaching Hospital operates on the premise that every individual has a right to privacy, and pets are property, says records administrator Sue Gray. It is standard procedure to first get an owner's permission to release an animal's medical records or allow photos or video of an animal.

"It protects individual property rights," Gray said.

California attorney Sandra Toye, who has worked on companion animal law issues for five years, said she has seen veterinary offices refuse to release even the most general information about trends or illnesses they are seeing.
Attached Images
Our stories derive from various news sources through press releases and from various pet-related sources. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them here.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
    Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 0%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:19 AM.