The FDA has approved a new kind of pill that informs your doctor when (or whether) you take it. If you swallow the pill, it sends a signal that tells your doctor and insurance company. If you don’t, the lack of signal lets them know that too.
Most people will say that don’t mind, that they take their medicine. But statistics show that thousands (or millions) of patients do not follow their doctor’s prescriptions. Would being watched change that?
“We all have something to hide,” according to Randolph Lewis, the author of Under Surveillance. Lewis quotes another journalist, Glenn Greenwald, saying, “If you have nothing to hide, why don’t you send me all of your passwords and all of your emails?”
There are private things we don’t want others to know about, including “Medical things.”
What about religious life? Lewis speaks of Catholic and protestant churches installing security measures such as CCTV cameras. We may not expect it. In the Mormon church, they don’t allow photography of sacred ordinances, while anyone can watch a baptism or a wedding, they ask that they not be photographed.
But, do even Mormon (LDS) churches have secret CCTV cameras, that could see and hear confessions and other personal information? Even if they don’t, it’s always possible that someone is phonefilming you without permission.
And, of course, one of these errant cameras might see you taking (or not taking, or binning) your medication.
“You are being watched.”
Lewis links being watched to levels high anxiety. He says we now experience more anxiety than ever before, and that is no coincidence. And, it’s not only the lack of privacy that’s making us anxious. For instance, the sight of CCTV cameras might make you think that there’s a reason for those cameras, that something bad happened here, that it’s a high crime area.
Not everyone is equally nervous about being watched. Some minorities tend to be more aware of it, and when x-rays can see through clothing some people are more bothered by it than others.
The digitally informing pills are designed to inform doctors whether or not those who suffer from mental illness, some of whom could allegedly be a security risk without medication, are following out their prescription. The medical term for following your doctors advice is “adherence,” and not doing as your doctor prescribes is called “nonadherence.”
Nonadherence can mean many things. It might mean a patient just forgot, it might mean the patient is not willing to get better, or it might mean the medicine has been sold on to the gray market.
While some might argue that adherence to medical prescriptions is your doctor’s business, and perhaps the business of anyone paying for your treatment, even they might have secrets they wish to keep from their doctors.
The question is, do you have any secrets from your doctor? What if other forms of treatment start accessing your personal data?
Do you want your doctor knowing that you’re watching the following video??: