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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.