U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Request for details regarding Mr. Kennel Brown's medical documents from the Randon Hospital, including the date of admission, the nature of the illness, the amount of Medicare paid, and the time of discharge.

According to 5 U.S.C. 552(b), the release of personal information, such as medical records, and related documents, would be an unjustified invasion of privacy. (6). By allowing an agency to withhold personal information from being kept in government records, this provision protects individuals' rights to privacy. The statute expressly provides that only persons may obtain privacy interests. That is because there can be objective anticipation attaching against an ""unjustified attack on personal privacy.

Additionally, The Supreme Court had revised the application of the exemption, and in its review, it noted that in assessing whether a request for data is found within the range of FOIA exemption, for instance: Exemption 6, which blocks disclosure of information when it would lead to an invasion of personal secrecy which is to some extent 'undeserved,' a court has an obligation to balance the public interest concerning revelation touching the interest Congress envisioned the exemption to defend.

Reason for not Allowing Disclosure

The exemptions primary intention is to protect against revealing information that can significantly hurt personal privacy interest, business property interest, foreign policy or national defense, and the efficient operation of government responsibilities. The material requested involved Mr. Brown's medical records which according to his instructions were to be kept secret. As an agency, therefore, we have a mandate under the FOIA to prohibit the disclosure of the information owing to the anticipated harm.

July 07, 2023


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