Friday, 13 April 2012 11:11
Pennsylvania’s new natural gas law takes effect Saturday, which has some doctors concerned because they still aren’t clear on the medical provisions.
Some doctors are saying the new law places a “gag” on them, while the law’s proponents argue that there isn’t anything in the law hindering their practice, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Pennsylvania law says companies must disclose the chemicals used in fracking fluids to health professionals who request them in order to diagnose or treat a patient who they believe to have been exposed to a hazardous chemical. But the provision also requires those health professionals to sign a confidentiality agreement saying they won’t disclose that information to anyone else. But that's as far as explanation goes for the health professionals.
Doctors aren’t sure whether they can tell their colleagues about the chemicals, or even if they can disclose the name of the chemical to their patients.
The Philadelphia Inquirer spoke to some doctors and experts about the new law:
Adam M. Finkel, who directs the University of Pennsylvania's Program on Regulation, called the bill an
"ominous piece of work."
From his initial reading, Finkel, who headed rule-making at the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration during the Clinton administration, said that "it's really not at all clear" what a physician could tell a patient. If "not much" is the answer, "obviously, as a regulator and public health advocate, I would be appalled."
The head of the Pennsylvania Medical Society and the medical director of the Poison Control Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia expressed similar concerns.
The law, known as Act 13, "retains some of the worst aspects of industry secrecy about proprietary hydrofracking chemicals while making unethical demands on physicians," wrote Bernard Goldstein, emeritus professor in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and a colleague in an analysis.
However, Gov. Corbett's top energy official, Patrick Henderson, said that the law "specifically provides for medical professionals to access confidential and proprietary information in a timely manner" and that nothing prohibits "free sharing of information with the patient, other health professionals providing care to the patient, and the health-care regulators."
Here is Rep. T. Mark Mustio's voting record:
More on Rep. T. Mark Mustio:
"As for the new state drilling law, Mustio said while he sees no reason to override local ordinances when it comes to regulating drilling for natural gas, he stressed there is a need "to be sensitive" and to ensure a safe water supply. A Commonwealth Court judge recently issued a preliminary injunction temporarily preventing the state from usurping local control of development."
[Remember folks, Mustio voted with Gov. Tom Corrupt-bett on restricting local control, while he continues to say that he "sees no reason to override local ordinances." Mustio, once again, does his double-speak act for the public.]
Then Mustio says in the article:
"It's the law and I'm here to support the law," Mustio said of Act 13.
Even though our medical community is very concerned about the Act and how it places a Gag-like order on doctors in regards to the effects of Fracking chemical poisoning on their patients and the sharing of that information, nevertheless, Rep. T. Mark Mustio supports the law.
By the way, Greg Parks received the necessary number of votes in the PA primary election to place him on the November ballot to oppose the Republican winner of District 37's state senate race, Mr. Raja.
Here is Greg Parks' website:
Here is Greg Parks' website:
Mustio will run against (D) Mark Scappe, of Moon Township, for the PA House seat, in the November election.