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Re: MED-PRIVACY digest 137
In a message dated 96-08-05 08:37:02 EDT, Mark Sonneborn writes:
> personnel records seem like fair game if the
>candidate gives permission to speak to the former employer.
Let's go back over this.
1. This information read into the congressional record was NOT a PERSONNEL
record. And it wasn't even John Tower's (the candidate's) record.
2. It was a MEDICAL record. BIG difference. A psychiatric medical record. A
WITNESS'S medical record, which was obtained without any release.
3. It was a psychiatrists opinions and diagnosis for unrelated matters of the
WITNESS, against Tower, not the candidate.. It was NOT the candidate's mental
health record, either. It was the soldier who accused Tower of being drunk,
who had HIS mental health records read before the Senate and into the
congressional record, in order to embarass and humiliate him.. It was not
Tower's mental health record that was read into the congressional record. I
believe either I was not clear, or you misread my post.
4. Of course, all Tower's records should have been fair game, but this is NOT
what we're talking about here. We are talking about the unauthorized release,
public announcement, and reading into the nation's historical record, of
confidential mental health files, on an innocent third party, without a
release, and without due process, of an unsuspecting person's confidential
mental health records, simply because he (the sergent) stated that a public
figure who had been nominated for the highest level defense position in the
NATION, had been repeatedly been seen under the influence of alcohol at work.
5. The issue here is should a politician be able to use his military
connections, with no authorization, no release, and no knowledge of the
patient/witness/testifier, be able to use his contacts, to dig up dirt on
someone who testifies against his buddy, to smear the witness's reputation,
betray his confidentiality, and air out the witness's dirty laundry, by
reading private psychotherapy notes, in front of the Senate, in order to get
his (The Senator's) buddy into the office of Secretary of Defence.