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Education Reporter

New 'Cornerstone' for Big Brother
Kathy Rothschild
Kathy Rothschild
EFFINGHAM, IL - At least one school in this central Illinois community is cooperating with the state Department of Public Health to obtain students' personal medical information for the Cornerstone data collection system. Cornerstone is a database designed to track the health and immunization records of all Illinois public health system participants. A secondary database for private health care providers, called the TOTS program, is also being developed.

Cornerstone application forms are included in school registration packets. Parents are asked to "fill out and sign the attached form so that we can enter your child's shot record into our Illinois Public Health Department computer system." Commissioner Kathy Rothschild, a member of the Illinois Governor's Commission on the Status of Women, explains that every state has such databases. "Bureaucrats try to coerce parents to give them permission to collect their child's personal and confidential medical records by using the excuse that doctors need to prevent immunization records from being lost. The real purpose is to enter all American children into a national computerized medical records database so that they can be tracked for the rest of their lives."

Fran Eaton
Fran Eaton
The "Cornerstone Informed Consent Form" states: "We are asking for permission to collect information about the participant and store it in a centralized computer system maintained by the Illinois Departments of Human Services and Public Health. Based on the information collected during the enrollment or registration process, we will determine whether you need further service."

It continues: "This authorization covers all the medical, social and financial information about the participant, including background and demographic information; health visit information; medical and developmental history; prenatal, birth, and postpartum data; infant/child visit data; immunization records; participants risks; services received; goals and care plan; WIC food packages; program information; information required by the federal Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Program and the Part C Early Intervention Program. This authorization also covers information about mental health, AIDS, HIV, sexually transmissible diseases, alcoholism, and drug use . . . "

Illinois pro-family leader Fran Eaton reports that a growing public debate has erupted on the ethics of the state accumulating such information that may, in the near future, be obtained by other government agencies. "These requests for private information are inappropriate," she says. "We intend to bring the matter to the attention of elected officials."

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