Tucked away in our paper today was this little story on Temple City Councilman David Capra.
City hall stays quiet on Capra’s condition
By Alfred Lee, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 07/18/2008 12:50:05 AM PDT
(Courtesy)TEMPLE CITY – Residents are raising questions about the medical condition of City Councilman David Capra, who has missed two council meetings this month, but City Hall remains mum about the specifics of Capra’s illness.
No one answered the phone at Capra’s residence. Efforts to reach him at his hospital room were unsuccessful.
Capra was discharged Tuesday from Methodist Hospital of Southern California in Arcadia.
“I am a concerned resident and he is my public official,” Rachel Barbosa said. “Will he be in the right frame of mind to be making decisions?”
On Wednesday, Mayor Cath Wilson said Capra is at home and “doing great,” but she declined to give more details.
“You’d have to ask him,” she said, but also added that since Capra still was recovering, “You don’t want him disturbed.”
Wilson expected Capra to return to the council, but is unsure of a timetable.
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Federal privacy laws – namely something called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, aka HIPAA – have made it nearly impossible to get health-related information on a patient unless you are designated by that patient to receive the information or you’re their medical provider.
As journalists, that has made reporting a little harder, especially when it comes to checking the condition of crime or accident victims.
In this case, it is clear that some residents are concerned with the councilman’s condition and how it will effect his job on the council.
Do you think the city should release the nature of Capra’s condition? Is it anybody’s business to know?