Public comments for: Amendment of General Vital Statistics Provisions (Article 207 of the NYC Health Code)

Comments

Comment:
The categories listed exclude important family relationships that are now common today and will become more common in the future. Many families simply don't fit the traditional approach proposed. These omissions, alongside the inability for adoptees to access information regarding their family history, create an unfair barrier to access. Death records list cause of death and for an adoptee, this is important health information they probably cannot get anywhere else. Another problem is that non-family cannot do research. Professional genealogists would be unable to perform their jobs. Also, the greatly expanded time periods (which are now amongst the most restrictive in the nation) keep people from researching and educating others about important historical information such as military veterans, Holocaust survivors, and immigrant communities.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
Obtaining a birth or death record is not the only way someone can get a persons information. To try to say that holding back the records because there is a privacy issue is unrealistic. You can get a persons social security number online just months after their death. Genealogists and average family reasearcher like myself need and use these records to identify if in fact we have the right person on our family trees. Coming from a family where my dad was raised in foster care and knew none of his family information these rules and provision would cause me to be stuck right away. This information in invaluable to people who are searching for their family histories. Please allow the records to be open to everyone.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
While the proposed amended rules would allow a few more family members to access records, it would not be sufficient for those who are doing research for others (such as people who need records but don't live in NY) or those of us trying to put together the records of more distant family in order to try to complete a family tree. It would be a terrible disservice to the genealogical researcher to have these limits put in place, and they are far too extreme. Please reconsider, so we can continue to find our roots.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
These records are more than just documents, they are a tangible piece of history that in many cases ties us to relatives some of which we never met before. For myself being able to obtain vital records for my family has become very important due to my application for dual citizenship. The current law goes well beyond what other jurisdictions require for the same type of information, and frankly as a taxpayer is unacceptable. The proposed amendment is a step in the right direction, however the city has more to do to allow families to access key documents.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
In addition to family history, genealogical information is also required to learn family medical history. Often times families are fractured and without expansion of family members able to obtain death certificates it will be impossible for many people to correctly evaluate their risk of certain diseases and to make informed health care decisions.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
The people who will have access to birth and death records should also include step family members. There is a problem with limiting research to relatives who need the documentation to prove their relationship. I
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
Why is the privacy of deceased persons so very important? Like HIPPA, this proposed rule goes too far. If you insist on promulgating this rule please include a way around it that is not too onerous. For example, genealogical and historical societies should be exempt and have an easy way to request birth and death records.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
The burden of maintaining and purchasing an epic pen places the responsibility on the School rather than the family. We indirectly become the funders for a prescription medication which has an expiration date and squarely place us "playing" the role of pharmacy instead of instruction and guidance. What next? Are we going to be asked to keep a series of drugs at our disposal to advert future illnesses? Since when does the role of the childcare facility change to become the pharmacy for all? Where does individualize planning and attention come in? This is a partnership with the parent. A moment where programs who find themselves with a child that is in need of an epic pen work with the families and provide the necessary support and guidance. We all know that failure to use a car seat, results in a series of fatalities. Are we going to have to purchase a car seat for every parent because that is what the statistic shows? Instead, the proposal should consider ways that families can be furthered strengthen and cost mitigated to enable the access of an epic pen at a reasonable cost. On the matter of a toothbrush, we all need to think through the time the child spends at the program. Not all proposals need to become a mandate. Some need the time to be assimilated into our society.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
I have been researching my family in New York City for over 25 years and have used birth and death records to solve many brick walls in my family tree. Extending the waiting periods for these records will prevent researchers from obtaining information that is available from the rest of the state in 75 for birth records or 50 years for death records. The proposed amendment would be of some help but would not solve the problem of the extended waiting periods. I agree with others posting comments that birth and death records could be marked as an unofficial copy - with the stamp For Genealogical Purposes Only. This is used in other states and I feel this should be used for genealogy purposes in New York City.
Agency: DOHMH
Comment:
I am a child of divorced parents. My father and his family had no contact with me or any of my siblings from the time we were little children. I would like to access family health information contained on my grandparents and great grandparents death certificates. I cannot access them without proof that I am a child of my father. I need his birth record listing their names so that I can prove my relationship to them and obtain their death certificates. If there are no modifications to the current rule I will not be able to do so. The rule changes and time periods are too restrictive and I would not be able to show proof of my lineage. I would be long dead before I could access them publicly.
Agency: DOHMH

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