Better late than never:
Virginia Tech has provided some of Seung Hui Cho’s medical records to a panel investigating the April 16 massacre, after negotiating with family members to waive their privacy rights….
The records were released after weeks of frustration among the eight panel members over not being able to analyze Cho’s mental health in the years leading to the massacre, the worst mass shooting by an individual in U.S. history….
…panel officials said Thursday that they will continue to press for additional records, which also are protected under state and federal privacy laws.
(Tim Craig, “Panel Given Some Medical Files on Cho”, Washington Post, Jun. 15). And from a Thursday news report, also in the Post:
Authorities’ abilities to identify potentially dangerous mentally ill people are crippled across the nation by the same kinds of conflicts in privacy laws that prevented state officials from being able to intervene before Seung Hui Cho went on his rampage at Virginia Tech, according to a federal report commissioned after the Blacksburg shootings that was presented to President Bush yesterday.
Because school administrators, doctors and police officials rarely share information about students and others who have mental illnesses, troubled people don’t get the counseling they need, and authorities are often unable to prevent them from buying handguns, the report says.
Vienna, Va. attorney Thomas J. Fadoul, Jr., who represents twenty victim families, has threatened to sue unless a family representative is appointed to the panel investigating the massacre so as to help “steer” its proceedings; Virginia governor Tim Kaine has replied that the panel was chosen so as not to include parties involved, and noted that the panel does not include any representative of Virginia Tech itself.