Thursday, 19 December 2013

In the News by Susan L.

    There's been a news item that has me a bit concerned. A woman travelling to the US was recently denied entry because she had been hospitalized following a suicide attempt in early 2012. Police were not involved at that time. The border guards would not let her through because her "mental illness" made her a "risk to others and herself". In order for her to travel to the US, she had to see one of only three psychiatrists that are recognized by American authorities. Isn't that a slap in the face to all the other highly trained professionals who help those struggling with mental health challenges?
  The American Homeland Security stepped way beyond its rights. Discrimination is discrimination. There are lawyers involved now.
  Here's the million dollar question: how did they know? Our medical records are supposed to be confidential. If the police were not involved, there would be no police record that they legally had access to. How did her health matters become public knowledge?
  This has happened more than once. She isn't the only one and it's only the US border that has had any issues.
  Yes, there is an investigation into this matter but in this day of Google, any news item, any personal info from Facebook, photos, history, blogs, anything where your name appears...it's there for the reading by anyone. That, my friends is a frightening prospect when it becomes a weapon of power.
  Sadder yet is that situations like this only drive discussing mental illness and suicide deeper underground and sets us back decades.
  "For man does not know his time: like fish taken in a cruel net, like birds caught in a snare, so the sons of men are snared in an evil time, when it falls suddenly upon them." Eccl 9:12

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