Va. Senator Attacked By Son Argues for Easing Patient Privacy Laws

Rep. Tim Murphy has found just the man to help him argue for softening patient privacy protections: The former state lawmaker once attacked by his mentally ill son.

Creigh Deeds, the Virginia state senator and former gubernatorial candidate whose son stabbed him multiple times before committing suicide, testified Tuesday morning before a House panel considering the broad mental health reform Murphy has been trying hard to move through Congress.

Among the bill’s many provisions, there’s one to ease the federal privacy rule known as HIPAA by allowing caregivers of those with serious mental illness to gain access to their medical records if it’s deemed necessary for safety.

Advocates for the somewhat controversial rule change say withholding records of those with serious conditions like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia ties the hands of caregivers trying to get them the best care.