Should Loughner's medical records be released?
Tue, 12 Apr 2011 16:53:38 GMT —
A psychiatrist in Missouri says she needs access to medical records in order to decide if the suspect in the Tucson, Ariz., shooting rampage is competent to stand trial.Prosecutors have since asked a federal judge to order doctors who have treated Jared Lee Loughner to turn over all his medical records.Loughner is in Springfield, Mo., undergoing court-ordered mental competency exam at a federal Bureau of Prisons medical facility.He was ordered transferred from Tucson to have tests to determine if he understands the nature and consequences of the charges he faces and can assist in his defense.Psychiatrists have told prosecutors they need the records for their evaluation. That includes pediatrician, high school and other childhood medical records.The court filing says that the childhood medical records could shed light on Loughner's mental and emotional development as a child. Prosecutors specifically asked to have access to medical records related to a 2006 incident when Loughner was "extremely intoxicated" at high school and another incident in 2004 in which he received treatment at an urgent care facility."Although the government does not know the nature of the treatment of the defendant at the Northwest Medical Center Urgent Care, this medical record would be relevant like any other to determine whether it bears on the defendant TMs mental condition and other relevant competency issues," prosecutors wrote in the court filing.Loughner's defense attorneys have refused to provide any records to the psychiatrist. The defense team is still pursuing an appeal of the order that sent Loughner to Missouri for the evaluation.Loughner arrived March 23rd at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, known locally as Fed Med.Loughner has pleaded not guilty to federal charges stemming from the Jan. 8 shootings that killed six people and wounded 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.What do you think? Should the medical records be turned over to the prosecution? (The Associated Press contributed to this story)