I am getting considerable traffic, and I know that lots and lots of people are reading this blog.
I've been asked repeatedly about why "someone" from the hospital has not spoken out. We have, in this country, a law called HIPAA. This stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accounting Act. (Correction: This stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.) I deal with HIPAA every day and, while I believe it was well-intentioned, it has compliance issues that are staggering.
Violating HIPAA carries criminal penalties. Revealing any confidential health information at all can carry a fine of up to $50,000 and one year in jail. Even, for example, a nurse coming forward and saying, "No one was in the room when Sarah Palin gave birth except for one doctor." would be a violation. (Note this is an EXAMPLE. No one has stated this! Please be clear on this point.) The bottom line is that it is against the law for anyone at the hospital to talk about this matter, and that includes everyone from the janitor to the billing clerks to nurses. And the problem is that not only revealing the information is against the law, possessing it is as well. Let's say that someone would send me anonymously a medical file. I would destroy it immediately, because just my possessing it could send ME to jail for a year! This is serious, and unfortunately because of the laws, not a path we can pursue.
However, we have some first hand witnesses that could shed some light on the situation who are not bound by HIPAA, and these are the flight attendants who saw Gov. Palin on flights from Texas to Anchorage on the night of April 17th. Although we have Alaksa Air's official statement - that the "stage of her pregnancy was not obvious" and that she did not appear to be in "distress" - I suspect that the actual flight attendants might have a bit more to offer.
So... this is a plea. Surely, someone reading this blog, has a friend who used to date a girl whose roommate's sister is a flight attendant for Alaska Air... or something. I hope that one of these attendants will be willing to come forward and just give a factual first-hand account of what happened on one of those two LONG flights. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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