Sunday, May 28, 2023

Do The Homework Before Commenting

      Read the links or run a websearch and read what it turns up.  Otherwise, be quiet while the grown-ups talk.  A couple of comments, so far unpublished, take Dr. Bernard to task for "revealing the rape victim's identity."

      Indeed, that's what she was reprimanded and fined for, and may be appealing the decision.  Except that's not quite what she did, not in the sense of sharing the child's name and address.  Nope, what the doctor did was give the age, approximate location (either directly or by implication), that the child had been raped and how long she had been pregnant.  Neither she nor the hospital thought of that as identifying information and, under normal circumstances, it probably would not have been.

      Circumstances were not normal.  The Attorney General vowed to investigate (and his office brought the case before the Indiana State Medical Licensing Board).  Some pro-life commenters called the situation out as "too convenient," and vowed to unmask it as a fake.  Pro-abortion commenters set to work to prove it was real.  Given enough time and people, digging through court records in likely Ohio venues turned up a match, and at that point, the victim's privacy was breached.

       This is fairly subtle.  The medical profession has guidelines, the hospital has written policies, and it is irrefutable that without the initial information, no one would have known where to start looking.  But the information the doctor made public did not, in and of itself, identify the victim.  The Indiana State Medical Licensing Board has made their decision and, barring a successful appeal, there the matter stands.  Just don't oversimplify it.

      And don't ignore the tragedy at the heart of the dispute.  There's a ten year old girl who has already been through far more than any child should, and who still has a lot to get though.

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