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Barry Furrow Discusses Restrictions on Doctors’ Disclosures in Fracking Context 

March 08, 2013

Professor Barry Furrow was a featured presenter at Drilling, Doctors and Disclosure, a symposium at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law on Feb. 28.

As the Pittsburgh City Paper reported, Furrow criticized "Act 13," the controversial 2012 law that allows natural-gas drilling, or fracking, companies to limit doctors' disclosure of the names of fracking chemicals to patients who may have been exposed to such harmful substances. 

"Act 13 needs to be rewritten," Furrow said.  While the act allows limited disclosure of trade-secrets for treatment of individual patients, it does not allow disclosure to protect the patient's family or community from exposure. 

Furrow also discussed other legal implications for doctors, who must sign confidentiality agreements concerning the chemicals. Doctors may fear that their treatments may expose them to liability under the agreements, and, thus, treatments may be compromised, Furrow said. 

Furrow is a nationally recognized health law expert who has previously discussed fracking's influence on the work of physicians with NPR and others