Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Gone Fishin' in Indiana

An Indiana superior court judge ruled yesterday that Planned Parenthood of Indiana must turn over confidential records involving more than 80 of its youngest patients.

The Indiana attorney general, Steve Carter, a Republican (natch!), said he was seeking the records of any patient under the age of 14 because "his Medicaid fraud unit is trying to determine whether children have been neglected because molesting incidents were not reported to the authorities as required. Under Indiana law, anyone under 14 who is sexually active is considered a victim of sexual abuse, and health providers are required to report such cases to the state authorities."

The judge wrote in his opinion, "The great public interest in the reporting, investigation and prosecution of child abuse trumps even the patient's interest in privileged communication with her physician, because in the end, both the patient and the state are benefited by the disclosure."

Ah ... the gentle hand of state power, which can decide just that casually that you have no right to privacy. Just wait until they get their theocracy.

Indiana Planned Parenthood is fighting the decision and will no doubt appeal. The head of Planned Parenthood "questioned the nature of the investigation by the Medicaid fraud unit, saying most of the cases dated from several years ago and hardly seemed to be the emergency that [the attorney general] has portrayed. She said no case involved abortions."

These sorts of fishing expeditions are meant, actually, to scatter the fish via intimidation. We all know that.

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