July 15, 2021
The Biden Administration has announced plans to send agents “door to door” in order to “get remaining Americans vaccinated, by ensuring they have the information they need on how both safe and accessible the vaccine is.”
A leaked script from the Lake County Health Department in Illinois tells the Community Health Ambassadors to keep track of the addresses and responses from residents in a “Doorknocking Spreadsheet.”
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) makes the following observations:
- The U.S. Constitution provides no authority for the federal government to be involved in medicine, for example, by recommending, promoting, or mandating treatments.
- If the Ambassador knows a person’s vaccination status, the government has already been collecting personal health data and sharing it with agents having nothing to do with the person’s care, a violation of the Fourth Amendment. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will not protect you—it allows very broad disclosure to government officials.
- States have the lawful authority to regulate the practice of medicine, but the Ambassadors are evidently not under any constraints regarding training, credentialing, documentation, or scope of practice, although they are collecting data and giving medical advice without supervision. Even medical assistants and medical scribes need to meet certain qualifications.
- Ambassadors are promoting an experimental product, with no information on risks. Even if a product is FDA-approved, advertisers and medical professionals must divulge risks, such as heart inflammation, paralysis from Guillain-Barré or other causes, miscarriage, or death. Contrast the Ambassador’s script with the disclosures on a television ad for a drug, say one to treat your dog’s heartworm.
In the opinion of AAPS, this door-to-door solicitation violates the ethical principles of protecting confidentiality and informed consent. Health professionals need a patient’s implied consent even to be seen; they may not simply show up uninvited at a stranger’s home.
For both legal and ethical reasons, the program should be discontinued at once, AAPS states.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has represented physicians in all specialties since 1943. Its motto is omnia pro aegroto, everything for the patient.