By Amanda Iacone
“The Allen County commissioners approved an ordinance Friday touted to protect patient safety despite some concerns the county has no legal authority to pass such a law.
Jordan Goldberg, state advocacy counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said the commissioners don’t have the power to mandate such requirements on doctors. She said the law also endangers patient confidentiality because it gives the county the ability to walk into any medical facility and look at all of its patients’ records.
The Center for Reproductive Rights sent a lengthy letter to the commissioners last week outlining how the ordinance infringes on rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and also violates the state’s home rule law. The state already regulates doctors and medical facilities, prohibiting the county from doing the same, the letter said.
Goldberg was disappointed with the commissioners’ response.
‘I feel we raised important legal questions. I would have hoped the commissioners would have given it more consideration,’ she said. ‘When dealing with something as important and as nuanced as patient care and confidentiality, it is important to understand the legal complications. The commissioners really showed that they weren’t paying attention,’ Goldberg said.”