info 11.14.08

Where Are They Now?

The incoming administration may be temperamentally inclined to look forward, but we're not so forgiving.

One of the more sickening things of the past eight years, from an admittedly long list, was watching the Justice Department, in 2004, demand patient records from hospitals, including Columbia-Presbyterian, Cornell, and St. Luke's-Roosevelt.

What were they looking for? They wanted to know more about what abortions were being performed and why.

Your fellow New Yorker, then Justice Department attorney Sheila Gowan, argued before Judge Richard Conway Casey (U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York) that regarding medical privacy, "Individuals no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential."

Ms. Gowan, pictured above, is now a partner at Diamond McCarthy. She left the U.S. Attorney's Office last year, but not before winning the Stimson Medal for Outstanding Contributions to that office.

The government later dropped the claim demanding the hospital records, so everything's fine now, right? Well, we note that Ms. Gowan lists 'health care litigation' as an area of practice at her firm. As long as there are people like that around, we wouldn't take anything for granted. Find out more from the Patient Privacy Rights organization.


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