What you have to understand about the local ‘newspaper’ is that it is short on things like actual editing, or articles written coherently enough to actually comprehend, or, like, anything actually resembling a newspaper, really, but I did manage to glean these charming notes from this piece:
“Our Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA] laws are woefully lacking,” [Sheriff] Allman responded. “If someone is over 18 and somebody wants to give us information about them, we can take that information but we can’t tell them anything about the results. If someone says, “My son is in jail and he needs to be taking a certain medication,’ we can’t call back and say, “We checked on him and he is [taking it].’ The two-way communication of HIPAA needs to be fixed.”
So, in other words, our local sheriff thinks that HIPAA should be suspended for mentally ill people.
“Health privacy is the protection of rights. I told [Congressman] Mike Thompson today, “We could fix this if Congress would say a judge can listen to our argument and suspend that one part of HIPAA…,’” [Allman] said.
This is the kind of thing I mean when I talk about the pressure to suspend rights for mentally ill people. HIPAA is supposed to extend privacy and dignity to all people, and proposals like this both weaken the fundamental point of HIPAA and endanger mentally ill people even further.
This is revolting, and I intend to write Congressman Thompson about this, urging him not to suspend medical privacy for mentally ill people.