Article violates family

To the Editor:

In regard to the article, Man found deceased in car:  It is a sad commentary of our times when a private matter for family and close friends, only, is addressed on the front page of a newspaper (The Caledonia Argus) as if a three ring circus was coming to town and… was probably treated as such by those people that didn’t even know the young man discussed in that article.

The family was not even asked if the information could be used to help prevent suicide. Another question… How was the young man connected to the car found in the field? Someone’s negligence perhaps? The parents of this man were not even aware that this article was posted on the internet. They didn’t know of it until they got The Caledonia Argus and opened it to the front page.  Yes, as already said, a sad commentary of our times.

I am a nurse. In our profession we cannot disclose any information about any client to anyone without written consent from the person, if he is alert and oriented, and alive, or from a person that has been appointed as that person’s guardian. We cannot even disclose that a person is in the hospital or nursing home without that written, signed consent.

Minnesota State Law is very strict about the privacy and rights of our patients. There are times when we as nurses remember conversations, with complete strangers to us that will say, “I am a close friend of _____’s family. I heard he was ill. Is he a patient there? A nurse’s first thought to herself is, if this is a close friend of the family why is he asking me for information about this person. We, as nurses do not ever disclose information about patients. There are heavy fines, or worse, we could lose our licensure and our job. This whole incident rubs me the wrong way because of who and what I am.  I feel violated in so many ways.

My husband and I raised our children to believe that if they treat everyone with respect and kindness that they couldn’t go wrong.  Doesn’t God command us to love and be kind to one another in all things? Are we not to set that example for others? How can others learn if they do not see?


Lola Werner
Caledonia, Minn.