Commentary: A Legal Perspective on Diabetes Surveillance—Privacy and the Police Power

September 2009 | Michelle M. Mello, Lawrence O. Gostin

The New York City A1C Registry (NYCAR) program is an unusual and groundbreaking extension of the reach of public health law. It marks the first time that the government has mandated name-based reporting of a chronic, noninfectious disease not caused by an environmental toxin and where the data are given to patients and physicians. Although the program has generated deep social controversy, remarkably it has not been challenged in court. Nonetheless, the law offers a useful lens through which to consider the program’s justification and legitimacy. In this commentary to the article in this issue by Chamany and colleagues (2009), we examine the state’s powers and responsibilities; patients’ rights to privacy and security of personal data; and physicians’ “privacy” rights.

Author(s): Michelle M. Mello; Lawrence O. Gostin

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Volume 87, Issue 3 (pages 575–580)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0009.2009.00570.x
Published in 2009