18
Apr
07

The Feds Are Tracking Depressed People

Does this scare you?  It should:

From ABC News, regarding the VA Tech shooter:

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.

I noticed that in the ABC report yesterday, but hoped it was just some kind of reporting error. Garden-variety depression is not a reportable illness and, supposedly, pharmaceutical companies don’t have the names of patients who use their products. Assuming that’s true, the only other source for this information would be physicians and pharmacies. I have a hard time believing that there would be full compliance by these groups without some sort of public disclosure. Very strange. I wonder
what the ABC reporter was talking about?

Also, other than health insurance discrimination, I wonder what the purpose of such a database would be? With the exception of involuntary commitment, you can’t be forced to take psychoactive medications, so showing up the database would not necessarily indicate that you are on medication. In some states, even if you ARE involuntarily committed, you can’t be forced to take medication.

In any case, IF such a database exists, the VA Tech case shows it clearly is of little value for protecting the public safety.

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