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Old 11-29-2013, 07:33 PM  
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is offline
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Government Knows too Much

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013...l_details.html

Disabled woman denied entry to U.S. after agent cites supposedly private medical details

A Toronto woman is shocked after she was denied entry into the U.S. because she had been hospitalized for clinical depression.


Ellen Richardson was prevented from going on a March of Dimes organized cruise because the U.S. border agent said she was hospitalized for mental health issues in 2012 and she needed special clearance. Richardson was treated for clinical depression but she wonders how he accessed her medical records.

BERNARD WEIL / TORONTO STAR Order this photo

Ellen Richardson was prevented from going on a March of Dimes organized cruise because the U.S. border agent said she was hospitalized for mental health issues in 2012 and she needed special clearance. Richardson was treated for clinical depression but she wonders how he accessed her medical records.


Ellen Richardson went to Pearson airport on Monday full of joy about flying to New York City and from there going on a 10-day Caribbean cruise for which she’d paid about $6,000.
But a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent with the Department of Homeland Security killed that dream when he denied her entry.

“I was turned away, I was told, because I had a hospitalization in the summer of 2012 for clinical depression,’’ said Richardson, who is a paraplegic and set up her cruise in collaboration with a March of Dimes group of about 12 others.

The Weston woman was told by the U.S. agent she would have to get “medical clearance’’ and be examined by one of only three doctors in Toronto whose assessments are accepted by Homeland Security. She was given their names and told a call to her psychiatrist “would not suffice.’’


At the time, Richardson said, she was so shocked and devastated by what was going on, she wasn’t thinking about how U.S. authorities could access her supposedly private medical information.

“I was so aghast. I was saying, ‘I don’t understand this. What is the problem?’ I was so looking forward to getting away . . . I’d even brought a little string of Christmas lights I was going to string up in the cabin. . . . It’s not like I can just book again right away,’’ she said, referring to the time and planning that goes into taking a trip as a disabled person.
Richardson said she’d had no discussion whatsoever with the agent at the airport about her medical history or background.

Previous to her hospitalization in 2012, Richardson had attempted suicide in 2001, as a result of delusions. But medications put her on an even keel and stabilized her for years, with no incidents.

A personal relationship breakup in 2012 caused her clinical depression and hospitalization (there was no police involvement). But again, her condition stabilized and Richardson, who has a master’s degree in counselling, sees a psychiatrist with whom she has a very good relationship.

She’s been on three cruises since 2001, travelling through the U.S., and has never had a problem at Pearson with U.S. authorities.

No U.S. border agent has ever brought up the 2001 suicide attempt, including the agent on Monday who only mentioned her 2012 hospitalization, she said.
He cited the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212, which denies entry to people who have had a physical or mental disorder that may pose a “threat to the property, safety or welfare’’ of themselves or others.

The agent gave her a signed document which stated that “system checks’’ had found she “had a medical episode in June 2012’’ and that because of the “mental illness episode’’ she would need a medical evaluation before being accepted.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection media spokeswoman Jenny Burke said that due to privacy laws, “the department is prohibited from discussing specific cases.’’
MP Mike Sullivan said what has happened to his constituent is “enormously troubling. . . . How did U.S. agents get her personal medical information?’’
He said he will be getting in touch with federal privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart “and demanding to know how this happened. We’re very concerned if Canadians’ personal medical information is being communicated to U.S. authorities.’’

Richardson has also spoken to her lawyer, David McGhee, about what she believes to be a “breach of privacy’’ as well as an act of discrimination against people with mental health issues.

McGhee has sent a letter to Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews asking how this breach could have occurred.
“The incident in 2012 was hospitalization for depression. Police were not involved,’’ McGhee said. “I’ve asked Deb Matthews to tell me if she’s aware of any provincial or federal authority to allow U.S. authorities to have access to our medical records. Medical records are supposed to be strictly confidential. ’’

U.S. authorities “do not have access to medical or other health records for Ontarians travelling to the U.S.,’’ said health ministry spokeswoman Joanne Woodward Fraser, adding the ministry could not provide any additional information.

Richardson’s bad luck continued when she tried to get the cost of her trip refunded.
Her insurance is with Ingle International and clients with problems are supposed to contact the help organization called OneWorld Assist.

OneWorld Assist’s Alex Longuepee wrote to Richardson: “Unfortunately, being denied boarding is not a covered risk under the policy.
“Also, we do have a general exclusion which reads as the following: ‘Psychological disorders, emotional disorders. Acute psychosis is not excluded unless drug or alcohol induced.’ ’’
In an email to the Star, spokeswoman Amber Robinson confirmed that Richardson’s insurance policy does not cover people denied entry to the U.S. The policy also doesn’t cover expenses “incurred directly or indirectly as a result of psychological disorders, emotional or mental disorders.’’

Robinson said the company has “reached out’’ to Richardson to start the claim process “which will allow us to review her claim in more detail. Hopefully, we’ll be able to assist Ms. Richardson in some way.’’
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Old 11-29-2013, 07:52 PM   #2
Fairplay Fairplay is offline
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This is just the beginning of the horrors of the goverment having your personnel information.

This is Obama.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:43 PM   #3
J Diddy J Diddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairplay View Post
This is just the beginning of the horrors of the goverment having your personnel information.

This is Obama.
Excellent post.

Government knows too much. I think I'll respond by showing how little I know.

Thank God they know so much.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:51 PM   #4
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairplay View Post
This is just the beginning of the horrors of the goverment having your personnel information.

This is Obama.
As long as it is just my personnel information and not my personal information.
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Old 11-29-2013, 08:53 PM   #5
J Diddy J Diddy is offline
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
As long as it is just my personnel information and not my personal information.
I'm still trying to figure out who the goverment is. Hopefully, the government knows something about them.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:00 PM   #6
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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Just a little context here, for what it's worth--
This lady was Canadian, trying to enter the US. Her medical records were based in Canada, not the US. I don't know how a US border agent had any access.

Also, the woman was shocked anyone knew about her medical issues. I guess maybe she forgot that she wrote a book about it and her suicide attempt and keeps a website regarding the same.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
go bowe go bowe is offline
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Originally Posted by J Diddy View Post
Excellent post.

Government knows too much. I think I'll respond by showing how little I know.

Thank God they know so much.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:08 PM   #8
stonedstooge stonedstooge is offline
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She should have just flown down to the Mexican boarder and walked across
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:09 PM   #9
J Diddy J Diddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedstooge View Post
She should have just flown down to the Mexican boarder and walked across
Who is this boarder? Is he located near the border?
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:09 PM   #10
go bowe go bowe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
Just a little context here, for what it's worth--
This lady was Canadian, trying to enter the US. Her medical records were based in Canada, not the US. I don't know how a US border agent had any access.

Also, the woman was shocked anyone knew about her medical issues. I guess maybe she forgot that she wrote a book about it and her suicide attempt and keeps a website regarding the same.
stop it! stop it! stop it!

no-one cares about your silly little facts and "context"...

you could have a context contest any you'd still be a looser, looser...

obama ball sack hanger-ong-er...
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:11 PM   #11
J Diddy J Diddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
stop it! stop it! stop it!

no-one cares about your silly little facts and "context"...

you could have a context contest any you'd still be a looser, looser...

obama ball sack hanger-ong-er...
hanger-ong-er?

That is amazing. It reminds me of when I created the word "dumbidity," one of the most miraculous moments of my life. It sums up the condition that most of the ****ers in DC are afflicted with.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:19 PM   #12
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by go bowe View Post
stop it! stop it! stop it!

no-one cares about your silly little facts and "context"...

you could have a context contest any you'd still be a looser, looser...

obama ball sack hanger-ong-er...
I probably shouldn't still be surprised at this point, but there sure are a lot of people apparently allergic to such things.
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Old 11-29-2013, 09:22 PM   #13
go bowe go bowe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Diddy View Post
hanger-ong-er?

That is amazing. It reminds me of when I created the word "dumbidity," one of the most miraculous moments of my life. It sums up the condition that most of the ****ers in DC are afflicted with.
dumbidity, i like it...

has a nice suggestion of morbidity, as in morbidly dumb...

i like it...
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