Sunday, April 11, 2010

Organ options. Obscene oncology outrage...

The first is a major mishap and one wonders how it has gone uncorrected for over ten years: another NHS data handling blunder that means over 800,000 people have had their organ donation wishes incorrectly recorded...leading to obvious consequences of some organs being removed for transplant without any consent. Maybe they're doing what Brown suggested two years ago and to be honest, as I have mentioned before, a 'presumed consent' organ opt-out system as Spain has would be better, no?

The other is an absolute disgrace, "Labour hit by cancer leaflet row." [Times] Labour start to sink further than even we thought they could. More from Dizzy (who posted a great blog on this political football last week) and Iain Dale. Apparently Labour have since said they 'would never specifically target anyone with a medical condition' and yet, by complete coicidence, that's where their leaflets went. As Dizzy says in his update:

People wondering how they managed to target these people, it was done by using anonymous data mashup from Experian to work out roughly where someone with cancer lives. They hold anonymous hospital data with postcodes and medical diagnosis. Think of it like a shotgun being targeted at a door but the pellets spread out and hit many targets in a specific area.

However, saying this, one of the people that received the mailshot did so whilst her 50 neighbours sharing the postcode did not. So perhaps from a data point of view there is slightly more to this than meets the eye.

Highly targeted marketing or a crude, tasteless, despicable, crass political low?

Update 12/04/10: There's more (Hat-tip Conservative Home) "In a related development, the Times' Sam Coates has posted a shocking story online about how Labour have obtained GPs' confidential email addresses and are contacting them to try and get their backing at the election."

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