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Questions re: military/medical confidentiality(2 posts)

Questions re: military/medical confidentialitymdehner
Jan 2, 2004 12:52 PM
From an AP story:

"Elaine Donnelly, an opponent of women in combat who is spearheading a petition drive on the issue, said she believes it's important that women [in the military] not be put in danger of being captured and raped. Medical records indicate Lynch was sodomized while in Iraqi captivity but she has said she does not remember it."

First, I had never heard of Jessica Lynch's supposed sodomy, but more importantly, how in the world can this sort of thing enter the mainstream news (stated as fact rather than rumor/supposition)? Is medical privacy among the rights our enlisted men and women forfeit? And how could this have been disclosed in the first instance except by the US military?

The Privacy Act of '71 still applies, even to us.sn69
Jan 2, 2004 3:56 PM
In fact, we probably kill a couple thousand acres of rainforest each year signing/processing mountains of PA paperwork. Anyhow, military records are equally protected and can only be accessed by authorized personnel or in the case of special circumstances (aviation mishap boards, criminal investigations, personnel security investigations, etc).

The specifics of Lynch's mistreatment at the hands of the Iraqi Army (important distinction to make between them and the hospital) have been in the public forum for some time. Perhaps you missed it in the media feeding frenzy to buy/sell her story. Nonetheless, how that information made it into the public domain is beyond me. I didn't watch her interviews, so perhaps she spoke of it there. Same goes for her book. Likewise, there's always the distasteful possibility that somebody of indiscreet character leaked the information from within DOD/DOA. Dunno.

Reporters are a resourceful bunch, although seemingly sensitive information is often easier to get than one might think.

Cory...your thoughts?