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Identifying the TB Patient

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4 Responses

  1. Dissent says:

    When the Associated Press story named him, they cited two “anonymous” sources. They identified one as “federal law enforcement official” and the other as “medical official in Atlanta.” That was the first source I saw for his name.

    I was not happy that his name was revealed that way, and blogged about it on my site, asking what you are now asking, because I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a CDC employee who was the second source.

    As to whether the media should have then published it, I would guess that they would argue yes, of course, because of public interest in the story. My concern was whether they ever should have been given his name by people involved in the case.

  2. jps says:

    I think this is one of the problems of the internet age. Let’s say the CDC only released the following: Man who had travelled to Greece from Atlanta for his wedding, then travelled to Italy afterwards for a honeymoon- with dates. This wouldn’t be an improper breach of confidentilaity (sure, maybe they didnt need the wedding/honeymoon stuff), becasue we need to know where/when this guy was. Unfortunately, he had a wedding announcement in one of the Atlanta papers that described his travel plans. A little digging by any decent journalist, and you could have figured it out….

  3. Dave! says:

    I don’t think it was right for a federal official or a medical official to release his name. However, I think it’s naive to assume his name would not have come out. Eventually, an airline employee, another passenger (who files a lawsuit) etc. would have leaked it.

    I would not encourage or endorse vigilantism, however, I do think there needs to be some serious legal consequences for this irresponsible jerk.

  4. Anon Prof says:

    More updating here:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070604/ap_on_re_us/tuberculosis_infection;_ylt=Apsfh8l8srpcArhqZ.ucRJpH2ocA

    I agree with the other commenters here; perhaps irresponsible to release his name, but if the TB patient is able to sue and recover vis-a-vis the government, I would *hope* anything he recovers would be a drop in the bucket compared to the liability he faces for exposing all of those innocent people to TB.

    As for his parents being “in hell,” imagine how this man’s irresponsible behavior impacted those who sat next to him on the flight? The coincidence of the father-in-law being a CDC official is a little odd, as is their protestation that they couldn’t afford a private jet (if he’s that concerned about his health, and can afford a wedding in Europe, one takes a loan).

    Completely disgusting behavior on the patient’s part, makes lawyers look terrible, and hopefully will result in some serious bar discipline.

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