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No patient privacy: Texas health workers turn in undocumented woman during gynecology appointment

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A mother who showed up at a Texas healthcare clinic for her annual gynecological exam is facing deportation after clinic staffers called authorities and stalled her for them until they arrived.

The Houston Press is reporting that Blanca Borrego and her two daughters were delayed at the Northeast Women’s Healthcare clinic in Atascocita for several hours, before healthcare workers showed the woman to an examination room where authorities entered minutes later and arrested her.

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According to Borrego’s oldest daughter, she watched Harris County Sheriff’s deputies march her mother out of the clinic in handcuffs.

“We’re going to take her downtown, she presented a form of false identification,” she recalled the deputy saying, before adding, “She’s going to get deported.”

According to Borrego’s attorney, Clarissa Guajardo, Borrego was a first-time visitor to the clinic to see her doctor with whom she had a previous relationship. After giving clinic workers a fake drivers license she was told to wait as, unbeknownst to her, authorities were called.

Guajardo’s attorney believes that clinic workers may have violated medical privacy laws.

“They took her into that examination room solely for the purpose of being arrested,” Guajardo said in an interview. “I just have a very hard time with that. I think it’s a violation of HIPAA laws.”

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While exemptions to HIPAA laws exist they are generally used when a patient threatens to physical harm to himself or others.

According to her family, Borrego is being held in Harris County jail on a $35,000 bond and they are worried that she may be deported if convicted on felony charges of tampering with a government record because she also had a fake Social Security card in her purse.

When pressed by the Houston Press if it is the clinic’s policy to contact authorities if staffers suspect patients of being undocumented immigrants, Memorial Hermann — the parent company of Northwest Women’s Healthcare — spokeswoman Alex Loessin answered, “As you know, because of patient privacy, I am unable to provide comment.”

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‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

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President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

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2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

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As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

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The real story behind Trump’s new lawsuit against the New York Times

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Wednesday was an ominous day for freedom of the press in this country, and I want to tell you why.

You may have heard or seen that President Trump filed a libel suit against the New York Times. Perhaps you weren’t surprised: the president is known to frequently disparage the Times even as he reads it obsessively. Borrowing a page from what I’ve referred to before as a Mount Rushmore of totalitarians, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Trump loves to call the press the “enemy of the people.”

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