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Women's Privacy Threatened

Annette King's proposed law changes following the Gisborne Cervical Inquiry will result in a gross invasion of women's privacy, National Women's Affairs spokesperson Anne Tolley said today.

"Women definitely did not intend to allow their clinical records held by doctors, nurses or hospitals to be available for audit and research when they signed up for the register.

"There is no indication where the proposed evaluation of the records would stop. The research may include examining the sexual activity history of women, held by their GPs and records of sexually transmitted diseases, held by hospital sexual health clinics.

"I am confident the thousands of women who signed onto the National Cervical Screening Register in the early nineties never imagined they were agreeing to allow a researcher to trawl through their personal medical files, at any time, in the guise of evaluating Cervical Cancer.

"These women should be given the choice of staying on the register or being taken off it.

"Annette King needs to give women much more detail of the privacy provisions in this proposed legislation before we can make sensible and constructive comments," Mrs Tolley said.

Ends


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