To any knowledgeable person, there is one thing that is abundantly clear about the June 12 editorial, “Our View: Scuttling mental health privacy rules won’t cut risk of violence,” which attacks U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy’s bill H.R. 3717:

The Press Herald editors never read the bill. The editors did not read it and misunderstand it. They did not read it and disagree with it. They plain and simply didn’t read it!

It’s obvious the editors have accepted a prepared statement from the bureaucrats whose livelihood depends on further taxpayer expenditures for ineffective existing programs.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy law section of H.R. 3717 allows confidential information to be shared with family members only when the health care provider “reasonably believes it is necessary … to protect the health, safety, or welfare of (the) individual or the safety of one or more other individuals,” and even then, under certain other narrowly defined criteria.

This is because H.R. 3717 has been carefully and thoughtfully designed to shift the focus of the current mental health system to the small percentage of the mentally ill population who are the most seriously disabled.

H.R. 3717, accurately and appropriately named the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, seeks to move the sickest people to the head of the treatment line, not only because these individuals deserve our compassion and our help, but sadly, because these few people are the ones most likely to pose a risk of serious harm to themselves or others.