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article imageFormer doctor dumps abortion files in recycling bin

By Anne Sewell     Mar 28, 2012 in Health
Topeka - While the former Kansas abortion provider is not likely to face criminal charges for discarding patients' private records in a recycling bin, there are worries about potential violations of patient privacy laws.
Anti-abortion lawmakers have called for the state legislature to investigate the fact that the former doctor, Krishna Rajanna, had thrown hundreds of his patients' private medical files into a recycling bin outside of an elementary school.
Rajanna has confirmed that he left the records of Affordable Medical and Surgical Services in a recycle bin a few blocks from his home in Overland Park, a suburb of Kansas City. The clinic closed in 2005 when the State Board of Healing Arts revoked Rajanna's medical license.
The general counsel of the Board of Healing Arts has said that it will consider a court action to have an outside custodian take possession of any remaining clinic records held by Rajanna.
The Johnson County District Attorney, Steve Howe has said that he does not expect to lodge a criminal case against Rajanna, but his office will examine whether these actions violate state consumer protection laws. These laws are enforced through civil lawsuits and his office might contact federal officials about the potential violation of privacy laws on the part of the patients.
Meanwhile several lawmakers who oppose abortion have said that the legislature must investigate whether Kansas law, which requires health providers to keep their patients' records for a minimum of 10 years, would adequately protect privacy in the event the records are discarded. Further they say that investigations should be made to reveal whether the law punishes offenders who dispose of documents in an improper way.
The House Majority Leader, Arlen Siegfreid said: "It definitely needs to be investigated."
Rajanna has apparently stated that when he discarded the documents on Friday, he expected the recycle bin to be emptied quickly. He said: "We could burn them up, I suppose, but that just puts more carbon into the air. Recycling would be the better way."
However, the bin was not emptied quickly and the documents were found on Saturday by a woman who was dumping her own materials for recycling. She first called the police, who did not at first respond, and then her daughter, who is a nurse. The daughter then contacted the Kansas City Star, who have reported this discovery.
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