Monday, September 26, 2005

Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey.

As a former reporter, I can be sympathetic to those who feel that HIPAA blocks them from being able to do their job correctly. However, much of the time when I hear the HIPAA whine from reporters, they are just flat wrong--- the patient's right to privacy is not trumped in most cases by the public's right to know. There certainly are exceptions, but usually, though sympathetic, I know that the greater good is being served by the privacy given all of us by HIPAA and other privacy laws.
So when I started reading this article in the Missoula Independant, I was sceptical. It sounded like another HIPAA whine. Reading further I realized that it was, in fact, another case of folks in authority using HIPAA as an excuse to cover up what seems to be from what I can tell, some negligence somewhere along the line.
I was especially amused by the little jab from one of the interviewees:


“You can thank your buddy Bill Clinton,” Eggensperger told us, by way of explaining his secrecy. When asked what he meant by “your buddy Bill Clinton,” Eggensperger had this to say: “I’ve read your Independent. It’s about as left-wing as it gets. I’m telling you because of your buddy Bill Clinton we can’t give out that information.”
When pressed, Eggensperger said the Sanders county attorney had instructed him to not give out any information. Then he hung up.

Someone a little bitter here? Like Jon Stewart asks;"What exactly is the statuate of limitations on Bill Clinton?"
As an aside, I have to say this to folks who mouth off to reporters--- you may very well be correct about what you are angry about, but they nearly always get the last word, and their last word is read by the entire circulation of their paper.

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