Seeing them living (again)

As I have said, I’m plugging Charley Project names into the database, looking for info. I’m doing it in reverse chronological order. I don’t have a lot of time — I only have a seven-day free trial and a paid subscription is pretty expensive.

Reading all those older papers gives you a really good idea as to how much America has changed just in these past several decades. Like, I keep getting weirded out by all these married women being introduced as “Mrs. Husband’s Name.” Another example — a shocker, from the current post-HIPAA perspective — is something I just discovered: in the now-defunct Franklin News-Herald, a Pennsylvania paper, their edition for February 10, 1972 included a list of recent hospital admits with the admitted person’s name and the name of the street they lived on and, in some cases, their full street address. Any American newspaper that somehow obtained and published such information nowadays would be sued into oblivion.

One of those admits was Patricia Jane Seelbaugh. This would have been just two weeks prior to her 16th birthday. Patricia disappeared without a trace in October 1973, one year and eight months after her admission to Bashline Hospital (now the Grove City Medical Center). She had been admitted to Bashline at least once before, in late July of 1969. No idea on what for. Nothing about her actual disappearance, alas. “Few details are available.”

4 thoughts on “Seeing them living (again)

  1. bootscallahan March 9, 2016 / 1:57 pm

    I remember seeing hospital admissions in my hometown newspaper as late as the mid-90s. Such a different world post-HIPPA.

  2. whereaboutsstillunknown March 18, 2016 / 1:36 am

    I have always been a little confused about the hospital admission thing. I mean, even with hipaa we still hear about when a celebrity is in the hospital, and I’m not sure if they wanted it publicized. I do remember when I was about 10 one of my classmates/friends was in the hospital after an asthma attack and I remember a reporter coming in and asking her mom if it was ok to publish her admission in the paper. Her mother consented and my friend was super excited that she was going to be in the paper. This was about 1980. I’m not sure if they always asked permission but they did that time.

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