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NPR/WHYY Article Highlights Professor Barry R. Furrow’s Commentary on Fracking Law

April 20, 2012

Professor Barry R. Furrow’s comments on a new law restricting a doctor’s ability to inquire about a patient’s exposure to certain drilling chemicals, were featured today in an article on StateImpact, a Pennsylvania environmental news initiative of NPR, WHYY and WITF (Harrisburg).

The new law, which requires drillers to provide the state with a list of chemicals used during hydraulic fracturing, with the exception of chemicals the energy companies deem “trade secrets,” prevents doctors from discussing the toxins with patients and public health officials, Furrow said.  Furrow argued that the law restricted doctors too much. A big problem is that the law is so vague, taking “public health out of the picture,” which makes doctors nervous, Furrow claimed.

Furrow’s expertise spans a wide array of health-related topics, including health care policy, regulation and finance, patient safety, patient privacy, mental health, provider accountability, medical ethics and bioethics, and legal issues of pain management. He has written more than three dozen law review articles on state and federal regulation of medical errors and patient safety.