News of the Day ... In Perspective12/13/2005
Prosecutors must charge Limbaugh in order to interrogate his doctors
In what attorney Roy Black called a victory for patient-doctor confidentiality, Judge David Crow ruled that the State could not ask Rush Limbaugh’s doctors the questions it posed to the court during a hearing unless it files criminal charges of “doctor shopping.”
In a written statement, Black said: “We’ve said from the start there was no doctor shopping but Mr. Limbaugh should not have to give up his right to doctor-patient confidentiality to prove his innocence.”
The Judge also ruled, however, that medical confidentiality does not extend to the courtroom if “that information is shown to be relevant to the prosecution of a crime.”
At the hearing, prosecutor James Martz said: “I would be devastated, and I kid you not, to go forward with a case against Rush Limbaugh or anybody else in the state of Florida, to find out at trial … (when) I actually get to hear what the writer intended, that we put somebody through a criminal prosecution wrongly.”
Prosecutors declined to comment on the ruling, citing an ongoing investigation (South Florida Sun Sentinel 12/13/05).
Rush Limbaugh v. State of Florida, including AAPS amicus brief defending right to privacy: http://www.aapsonline.org/judicial/limbaugh.htm
Florida sentences pain patient Richard Paey to 25 years for pleading not guilty: AAPS News, August 2004.
Appeals brief for Richard Paey: www.aapsonline.org/painman/paeyappeal.pdf