Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is suing his state's largest hospital system for allegedly violating patient privacy laws when one of its practitioners, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, shared the story of a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled from Ohio for an abortion last summer.
Rokita's suit, filed Friday, claims that the hospital, part of Indiana University Health System, violated HIPPA, the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, as well as a state law by not protecting the patient's information or punishing Bernard for speaking out about the pregnancy termination procedure she provided. Bernard worked at the time in the Indiana University Health clinic and is still employed by IU Health Physicians.
"The news story quoted the girl's doctor. The 10-year-old's treatment was a very private and sensitive matter, as was the abuse she suffered that resulted in her pregnancy. Neither the 10-year-old nor her mother gave the doctor authorization to speak to the media about their case," the complaint said. "Rather than protecting the patient, the hospital chose to protect the doctor, and itself."