I am writing to express my strong feelings of distaste for the Kennebec Journal article published on the front page of the local section of the Press Herald on Dec. 11: “Missing woman struggles with mental health, medical records show” (Page C1).

In both the photo and the article, but more so the article, I feel it was very insensitive to give such detailed information regarding the mental health and police records of the missing woman, Anneliese Heinig.

What benefit, may I ask, is there in sharing such personal information with the public? What about her and her family’s rights to privacy? And what about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the laws in medicine that are to ensure the confidentiality of medical information?

I understand the need to follow up on stories and appreciate the thoroughness but feel that a brief review or update from her father and the local search efforts would have been very adequate.

I feel that sharing the unfortunate circumstances of anyone’s life in such a public manner shows a lack of respect and compassion for this young woman, her family and the many who suffer the prejudices of mental health issues.

Debra O’Neill


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