July 02, 2005

Belleville Diocese must turn over priest's medical records

Bellville News-Democrat

Associated Press

BELLEVILLE, Ill. - The Catholic Diocese of Belleville is planning to appeal a court ruling that orders them to turnover the mental health records of a priest who was defrocked after he became the subject of sexual abuse allegations.

The 5th District Appellate Court ordered the diocese to provide medical records of the Rev. Raymond Kownacki, 70, to attorneys representing two people who claim Kownacki sexually abused them when they were boys.

Monsignor James Margason said the diocese will appeal the ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court to protect others from being forced to reveal medical and alcohol counseling records that predate the protection laws, the Belleville News-Democrat reported.

"It would apply to the medical records of anyone in Illinois," Margason told the newspaper Friday.

The medical records being sought, including any details of psychiatric or psychological treatments, pertain only to documents that existed before Jan. 9, 1979, when a state medical record protection act was enacted.

Posted by kshaw at July 2, 2005 08:22 AM