Hospital worker refuses to identify patient to police

A Lafayette, LA hospital worker has lost her suit against the police, which she filed when they arrested her for refusing to identify a domestic abuse patient who didn't want to file charges. The case arose in May 2005, when a 66-year-old woman told a hospital nurse that she'd been pushed down by her husband, but declined to press charges. The nurse still called 911, which of course brought the police to the facility. Elizabeth Maier, a case manager at Lafayette General Medical Center, refused to name the woman, citing HIPAA rules and hospital policy. They arrested her for obstruction of justice. Maier then sued the police, saying the arrest was retribution for her refusal to name the patient, and argued that HIPAA gave her the right to protect the patient's privacy. A judge later threw out the suit, concluding that HIPAA doesn't prevent officers from gathering information on a crime.

To learn more about the case:
- read this Associated Press piece

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