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News of the Day ... in Perspective

10/7/2004

Court Upholds Fishing Expedition in Limbaugh case.

On Oct. 6, a Florida appeals court ruled, in the case of Rush Limbaugh v. State of Florida, that the law does not protect medical records against seizure by police agencies seeking evidence that a crime may have been committed.

The investigation into whether the radio commentator had illegally tried to buy prescription painkillers had been “at a standstill pending a decision on the medical records.”

“There was no doctor shopping but it was my contention all along that I shouldn’t have to give up my privacy to prove my innocence,” stated Limbaugh (Palm Beach Post 10/6/04).

“Neither common sense nor the patient-physician privilege can stand in the way of the political witchhunt against Limbaugh. These fishing expeditions through medical records in search of a crime should not be allowed,” stated Andrew Schlafly, General Counsel for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Limbaugh could petition for a rehearing en banc or appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.

Additional information:

Court decision

AAPS press statement with link to amicus brief

AAPS congressional briefing on pain, Sept. 17. 2004

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