Thursday, August 20, 2015

Feds fault UO for releasing alleged gang-rape victim's therapy records without her consent

Oregonian
August 20th, 2015


The U.S. Education Department has slammed the University of Oregon in a "letter of guidance" for releasing an alleged gang-rape victim's confidential therapy records to UO lawyers without her consent.
The six-page letter, issued this week after repeated inquiries by The Oregonian/Oregonlive and members of Oregon's congressional delegation, said that institutions involved in litigation with a student should not share the patient's medical records without written consent or a court order.
In effect, the letter from Kathleen Styles, the agency's chief privacy officer, steamrolls a UO Counseling Center confidentiality policy weakened in March by center director Shelly Kerr, clinical director Joseph DeWitz and university lawyer Samantha Hill. The Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners is investigating four UO psychologists, including the two center managers, after Kerr secretly gave the woman's records to university attorneys in December without seeking her permission or notifying her therapist, Jennifer Morlok.

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