April 19, 2007

They know when you’re not sleeping; they know when you’re depressed…

Posted in Civil rights, Medicine, Mental health at 3:45 pm by The Lizard Queen

Here’s an interesting paragraph from a recent ABC News story about Cho Seung-Hui (emphasis added):

Some news accounts have suggested that Cho had a history of antidepressant use, but senior federal officials tell ABC News that they can find no record of such medication in the government’s files. This does not completely rule out prescription drug use, including samples from a physician, drugs obtained through illegal Internet sources, or a gap in the federal database, but the sources say theirs is a reasonably complete search.

John Aravosis of AMERICAblog asks some very pertinent questions in a blog post entitled “Why does the Bush administration have a list of everyone who has ever used anti-depressants?” (emphasis in the original):

We don’t even have a list of gun owners, and we have a list of everyone who has been prescribed anti-depressants? And in fact, the article suggests that this isn’t just a database of patients who use anti-depressants, it’s a federal database of every prescription drug you’ve ever bought.

What exactly do the Bushies do with that list? And what other lists do they have of which medications you’ve ever taken?

Indeed. There’s not much I can add to that except to note that the idea of the government knowing what medications I’m on or have been on makes me uncomfortable. I don’t think that’s anyone’s business outside of me, my doctor, and those I choose to tell. And as Evil Bender said yesterday, “When the state denies us the right to make medical decisions about our own bodies, we lose the right to pretend we’re really free.”

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