Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts in Human Rights

State Sen. C.B. Embry, from Butler County, recently introduced the Kentucky Student Privacy Act, which would make transgender students in public schools use the bathrooms which correspond with their sex assigned at birth.

“I just don’t think people of a different biological sex should, children, should be allowed into restrooms who are not the same sex that they are,” Embry said. “I think that’s very upsetting to a number of students and parents.”

As someone who has traveled the world from a young age and used many unisex bathrooms, get over yourselves. What Embry thinks and what reality is are two different things.

If the bill does go into law, students who encounter a person of the opposite biological sex in a restroom, locker room, or shower room could recover $2,500 from the school, depending on the specific situation.

This bill is a violation of Title IX and, hopefully, will be overturned if it ever sees the light of day.

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If approved, a new draft law from the Shoura Council in Saudi Arabia would set the age of adulthood at 18, requiring women under that age to obtain a court order to marry.

The move comes in the wake of recent reports of girls as young as 10 being married off to men in their 70s which sparked a nationwide debate in Saudi courts compelling critics to denounce the practice. They called upon religious and legal authorities in the country to rule against the phenomenon which, they feel, is dangerous to society.

The Ministry of Justice released in its recommendations that marriages of girls below 18 could only take place upon a court approval in writing. Currently, the Qadi, (person who solemnizes marriages) has the authority to marry girls off at any age.

According to the draft law, the court order is governed by three conditions for allowing girls under 18 to get married. First, the custodian needs to request the court to make an exception for his daughter to get married before reaching 18. He also needs to provide the court with a medical report that marriage will not cause the girl physical or psychological harm and that report will be issued by a specialized committee comprising a gynecologist, physiologist and a social expert stating that the girl is mentally and physically fit for marriage.

Secondly, the court’s judge has to document the approval of the girl and her mother, particularly if the parents are divorced. The final condition is related to a period of waiting after signing the contract enjoining upon the couple to wait for a while before finalizing the marriage procedures. This will give the girl enough time to prepare herself for the new life.

The law also has a media plan in which the public will be educated society, particularly parents. The law would also give women the right to ask the court to overturn the marriage if they were not consulted on the matter.

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“We cannot criminalize such a large population of society that engage in casual marijuana use,” the chief said in the radio interview. The topics were wide-ranging — but the chief was largely asked about marijuana use. McClelland made it clear he believes enforcing marijuana laws is wasting time and other valuable resources.

“Taxpayers can’t afford to build jails and prisons to lock up everyone that commits a crime,” said McClelland. “We must put more money into crime prevention, treatment, education, job training.”

More at 2 Houston.

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In a story that sounds like good old-fashioned government-sponsored eugenics, a California doctor is accused of sterilizing female patients illegally. This is the sort of thing that inspired the Nazis and Josef Mengele and was the predecessor of the Holocaust.

The California State Auditor criticized federal and state oversight of sterilization surgeries for female prison inmates after finding numerous illegal surgeries and violations of the state’s informed consent law.

Of the 144 inmates who underwent tubal ligations from fiscal years 2005-06 to 2012-13, auditors found nearly one-third were performed without lawful consent, according to the report released Thursday.

In 27 cases, the inmate’s physician — the person who would perform the procedure in a hospital or an alternate physician — did not sign the required consent form asserting that the patient appeared mentally competent and understood the lasting effects of the procedure and that the required waiting period had been satisfied.

In some cases, physicians falsified the consent forms, indicating the proper waiting period had passed when it clearly had not.

The CIR investigation, published in July, found that 132 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules from 2006 to 2010 — and perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s.

Heinrich previously told CIR that the money spent sterilizing inmates was minimal “compared to what you save in welfare paying for these unwanted children — as they procreated more.”

Dr. James Heinrich and his staff should be sued for their actions and have their medical licenses revoked and imprisoned. The story gets stranger, and creepier, when looking back at previous findings.

Dr. James Heinrich also has a history of medical controversies and expensive malpractice settlements both inside and outside prison walls. Female patients have accused him not just of trying to dictate their reproductive decisions, but also of unsanitary practices and botched surgeries that injured them and their infants.

Overall, the number of sterilization surgeries sharply increased after Heinrich joined the prison system and the federal court began oversight.

The responses to the increase site that Heinrich saw more patients than other doctors, but given his problems before being hired, why did the prison system decide to hire such a controversial figure?

Crystal Nguyen, a former Valley State inmate who worked in the prison infirmary, received a letter in August asking her to participate. “The Medical Board is currently examining Dr. Heinrich’s patient care,” it said.

Nguyen had many names to offer, she said, because Heinrich’s habits, like eating while conducting vaginal exams, were well known not just by inmates, but also by staff, who she said felt powerless to force him to change. Nguyen said she experienced those habits firsthand during her pregnancy at Valley State.

“He would be eating popcorn all the time. Popcorn, cheese and crackers. And he would be examining while he would be eating,” she said. “And to me, that’s not hygienic. … It was gross. It just creeped me out.”

To protect against infections, state and federal safety rules ban health care professionals from having food and drink in areas where patients are treated.

The CIR article gives several examples of how Heinrich simply didn’t care about his patients, whether they be in prison or not, and pushed unnecessary procedures on them. People place a huge amount of trust in doctors to know what is best. If something seems off, get a second opinion.

Download (PDF, 1.56MB)

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