SPONSOR:   

Sen. Blevins & Rep. Hall-Long & Sen. Sorenson &

 Sen. Cloutier ;

 

Sens. Adams, Connor, Ennis, Henry, McBride, Peterson, Simpson, Sokola; Reps. Carson, Ewing, Gilligan, Hudson, Keeley, Kowalko, Maier, M Marshall, McWilliams, Mitchell, Miro, Oberle, Schooley, Wagner, Hastings, Spence

 

DELAWARE STATE SENATE

144th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

SENATE BILL NO. 235

 

 

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO UNIFORM HEALTH DATA REPORTING.

 



WHEREAS, the State of Delaware traditionally has one of the highest rates of cancer incidence and mortality in the United States;

WHEREAS, identification of clusters of certain types of cancers in specific locations can help public health agencies develop intervention strategies leading to early detection when cancer is more easily cured;

WHEREAS,  providing such data to medical researchers outside state government may assist in the process of both identifying cancer clusters and developing intervention strategies;

WHEREAS, the public good is served by allowing citizens to know of potential hazards in their communities so they can take actions to preserve their health;

WHEREAS, it is equally important to preserve the privacy and dignity of people afflicted with cancer, and

WHEREAS, the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health has opted to err on the side of cancer patient privacy by withholding even generic data on cancer clusters from other researchers and the public;

NOW THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1.  Amend Chapter 20, Title 16 of the Delaware Code by renumbering §2005 through 2008 as §2006 through 2009, respectively.

Section 2.  Amend Chapter 20, Title 16 of the Delaware Code by inserting a new §2005 to read as follows:

“§2005.  Cancer incidence data.

Notwithstanding any provisions in this chapter to the contrary, the agency shall make available as public records cancer incidence by census tract and by type of cancer.  If release of such information by census tract will explicitly or implicitly identify any individual, the agency may combine data among contiguous census tracts, but only insofar as is necessary to protect patient confidentiality.”


SYNOPSIS

This legislation will make cancer incidence rates available to health professionals and to the public by census tract, thereby enabling “cancer clusters” to be identified.

Author:  Senator Blevins