Kai Mykkänen (NCP), the Minister of the Interior, has addressed public concerns over a legislative proposal to significantly expand the right of police officers to access sensitive patient data.
Helsingin Sanomat reported on Tuesday that the Ministry of the Interior has drafted the proposal in secrecy and is intent on fast-tracking it with a view to, for example, promoting the early detection of patients with mental health issues who are preparing to commit a serious crime.
The project has since come under criticism from opposition parties, mental health experts and the Finnish Bar Association.
Mykkänen in his response reminded that the revisions under consideration have been deemed necessary for the social welfare act.
“The key question is does detecting a cycle of domestic violence exceed the threshold for disclosure? What about the fear of being mutilated? We’re looking for a balance,” he assured on Twitter on Tuesday.
He called attention to the social welfare act also in an interview with Iltalehti, highlighting that clarifying the provisions in the act has promoted smooth exchange of information in crime prevention efforts.
“And as far as we know there haven’t been any major debates about breaches of client privilege,” he added.
“We aren’t trying to do anything more radical than what has already been done in the social welfare act,” stressed Mykkänen. “We want to prevent as many serious offences as possible that carry a minimum punishment of four years in prison. These are typically violent offences. We tried to clarify the situation in terms of voluntary disclosure by physicians in 2015, but practice has shown that the provisions aren’t clear enough.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi