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Re: [Gnumed-devel] Gui-Designers was the id_name debate

From: J Busser
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] Gui-Designers was the id_name debate
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2004 18:18:06 -0700

At 11:39 PM +0200 9/16/04, Karsten Hilbert wrote:
 > >  OSCAR refuses to permit you to
 > > create a patient without entering a date of birth
 > we have patients who refuse to give us a date of birth.
 here you can legally see a doctor without giving your correct identity
Well, that doesn't mean the database should allow you to
insert an inVALID date but rather allow for unknown (for
arbitrary reasons) eg. NULL.


Other options are "impossible"
eg. 1.1.1800 or "infinity" or "-infinity" eg. later/earlier
than any other valid date.

Don't like these

Yet another possibility would be to assume a pseudo identity
with formally valid but factually incorrect demographics.

Surely the above is offered (technically) as a way to satisfy the software at the expense of being governed purely by clinical need. Moreover, is is not remotely possible that a pseudo-identity could be confused as a real patient attribute, and thereby produce a liability situation? Permitting the storing of a date that may be incorrect is a bad idea, because later enquiries which *ought* to match to the patient in question could cause the match to be rejected as "probably not the correct patient" on account of the possibly incorrect date of birth.

BTW what about liability ? I think it might be possible to
construe cases where the doctor would have done/recommended
certain checks/procedures had he known the real age but didn't
in view of the lack of age information ?

I repeat it seems important to be able to create a patient with a date of birth that is any of:
- null (default) or
- valid date or
- ? possibly - somehow able to be recorded as "believed to be unknowable" or (perhaps) only a year of birth as an approximate year which may or not be correct.

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