Due to ubiquitous medical files, our National Security is at risk.
This was brought to my attention as I sat in a doctor’s office filling out paperwork for my medical files.
I had to wait two hours to see the doctor, so it was good that I had all the paperwork to occupy my time. Nine out of ten doctors recommend a heavy dose of paperwork to distract patients from most aches and pains not associated with carpal tunnel syndrome.
It took me forty minutes to fill out this paperwork, even allowing for my blatant lies, which reduces the time it takes to fill out medical forms by two years. It probably took the nurse two minutes to shred it, and a mere four years for me to acquire the advanced degree in jurisprudence I had to run out and get in order to understand it.
After a quickie graduation from a law school in the Bahamas, I had to pass the bar, and we all know how hard it is to pass a neighborhood bar. Then, and only then, was I qualified to read and sign the paperwork.
With my law degree clutched proudly in my sweaty hand, I read through the last five pages of the set of forms that was given to me when I came in the office.
The lawyers who thought this stuff up in order to make lots of money from doctors, were obsessed with informing me of all my rights, responsibilities, and privacy, and that the last would only be breached if the NSA needed my medical files to defeat an enemy, either foreign or domestic.
That’s when I began to worry about our national security. I did not feel up to the challenge, at all.
What if my health issues weren’t serious enough to warrant a world war that would begin as soon as the terrorists got a gander at my personal statistics? How embarrassing would that be?
Normally I wouldn’t mind if the government really needed my information, but I hate when people, especially enemies, know my weight, which varies depending on my height that day.
The forms also used a few pages to tell me what I could expect on my visits to the office, such as how I would be treated by the staff if they were in a good mood, how to play skeet ball, and why the office is located in a Bully-Free Zone.
Wyatt, a small boy, came in with his mother and grandmother toward the end of the two hour wait, and I really wanted to bully this kid and his mother.
He never got close enough for me to stick out my foot and trip him, as he zoomed back and forth across a waiting room full of people in pain, but I kept hoping.
He very sensibly ignored his mother who kept saying things like, ‘I’ll take you home right now’ and getting everyone’s hopes up, but then, she didn’t follow through.
This kind of disappointment is very difficult to deal with when you are already in need of a doctor. His grandmother would occasionally put her oar in, saying something about letting everyone in the waiting room beat Wyatt up.
This had no discernible effect on Wyatt, but again, it raised our hopes unnecessarily high.
I continued to muse on the legalese now embedded in my medical files, and whether I’d inadvertently promised them my firstborn, who is now 24, and likely to object to being kept in a government warehouse in New Mexico.
I was only slightly distracted by the shouts and screams from Wyatt and his sister, who kept insisting to her mother as she watched the traffic report on the waiting room television, that she could see her father’s car driving into the airport among the 50,000 other cars.
Dad was flying the coop to points unknown, or else he was safely at work at the airport where he could enjoy the quiet.
At one point in my paperwork, which henceforth shall be known as the Paperwork, it asked me if I had ever considered suicide. I wondered briefly if I would have to listen to screaming children in the afterlife, but checked ‘no’.
Why open that can of worms?
Thirty or so paragraphs were dedicated to assuring me that my privacy, and the financial assets that I’d hidden in an offshore account in Nassau, were protected by the strictest secrecy and iron-clad laws, but at the very end of paragraph 25, sub paragraph 61(b), they concluded by hoping I’d enjoyed my reading material, but they were only kidding.
In any emergency involving the president, a pandemic of national proportions, or if the staff got bored during a coffee break and needed someone new to discuss, the office could change this policy.
They kindly informed me there was nothing I could do about it, but that if I wanted to, I could discuss their staff at the next PTA meeting or with friends. As long as they shouted, ‘Olly, olly oxen free!’ they would be safe from prosecution.
I know what’s right, so I checked this policy with Wyatt, just to be sure, because its been awhile since I played ‘Olly, olly oxen, free’.
He concurred with the office policy after calling someone and having a short consultation on his Smartphone for Toddlers, so I signed and initialed the final spot on the Paperwork.
There was also something in all those paragraphs about Human Experimentation, and how much They Were Looking Forward To It, but they also said I didn’t have to consent to that if I didn’t want to (I am making very little of any of this up).
However, if I did consent to it, I had the right to know what was going on when my tongue turned black, or I grew a third nipple.
This was damn straight of them, and I signed because I don’t want the terrorists to win.