Whistleblowing doctor a lesson for all: 'Weaponized' government doesn't just target former presidents

Whistleblowing doctor a lesson for all: 'Weaponized' government doesn't just target former presidents

Whistleblowing doctor a lesson for all: 'Weaponized' government doesn't just target former presidents

After years of hard work, Eithan Haim was looking forward to crossing the finish line.

It was his graduation day from the Baylor College of Medicine, the culmination of his time as a surgical resident at the Texas Children’s Hospital was near.

That’s when two agents from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services knocked loudly on his apartment door and told him he was the subject of a criminal investigation, Haim recent told The Daily Wire.

He was being targeted for blowing the whistle on illegal practices at the hospital.

According to a related story at The New York Post, Texas legislators passed a law last year banning hormone treatments and surgeries on minors. That law came after a bombshell report from journalist-activist Christopher Rufo, who had received first-hand whistle-blowing information for his story from Haim. 

Haim, Eithan Haim

Now the young surgeon's defense team – the one he’s paying that has exhausted retirement, investments and any disposable income for he and his wife – says the charges are bogus.

The felony charges are related to an alleged violation of medical records law. Haim has a court appearance scheduled next week. The full charges have not been disclosed but the alleged violation is believed to fall under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPPA. 

Haim’s attorney says documents disclosed by his client did not contain identifiable information for any patients. Rufo has also said no patient names were leaked. 

If that is true, then the process is the punishment. Haim may yet be found innocent but a public trial, and the expense of defense, can serve the prosecution’s needs as a different form of punishment. It could cause future would-be whistleblowers to think twice.

More weaponization of the DOJ

What should be no harm, no foul looks like the latest case of egregious weaponization of the Department of Justice against an individual who opposes the political positions of the Biden administration, says Roger Severino, the vice president of domestic policy, for The Heritage Foundation.

“You can cooperate with law enforcement under HIPAA … especially if there's no PII, personally identifiable information,” Severino told Washington Watch host Tony Perkins Monday.

HIPPA is an area of expertise for Severino. He served as a HIPPA regulator for all four years of the Trump administration.

“This is outrageous. We had never issued any sort of recommendation for prosecution for HIPAA violations of which we had legions of them because a criminal punishment is essentially a death sentence for doctors, especially here where it's illegal to do these experimental surgeries on minors.

Severino, Roger (Ethics and Public Policy Center) Severino

“You have a good faith whistleblower trying to say this is what’s still going on at Texas Children’s Hospital. This is weaponization of the federal government, to have the DOJ, the inspector office, knock on your door and say we’re going after you under HIPPA of all things,” Severino said.

The administration is twisting the language of HIPPA to suit its purposes, he said.

“Earlier the Biden administration said, ‘You cannot cooperate with law enforcement without violating HIPPA when it comes to abortion.’ So, they're trying to say that if you have information about illegal abortions in Texas or elsewhere, you may also be criminally liable if you're cooperating with law enforcement,” Severino explained.

A key finding in the case will be whether the information released was identifiable as the defense claims, Severino said.

Regardless of that finding, the DOJ is baring its teeth by pursuing Haim on criminal charges.

“If there is a violation, I'm not saying there's one here, but if there is, it's civil. You get a penalty. You don't have armed U. S. Attorney's office or FBI agents coming knocking at your door and then threatening to put you in jail for blowing the whistle to protect children from potentially unlawful activity,” Severino said.

How it happened with Haim

It was September 2022, and Texas Attorney Gen. Ken Paxton had already publicly stated that it would be considered “child abuse” under state law for any health care practitioners who performed gender-manipulation surgeries or prescribed gender-manipulation drugs to minors.

Texas Children’s Hospital responded with its own announcement that it would end gender-manipulation procedures.

But that wasn’t the end of the story. Haim discovered the hospital was continuing forward, albeit in a quieter manner. He felt compelled to do something.

“This is a huge scandal, right?” he said. “It’s my responsibility as a doctor, as a physician, to expose this to the public. If I don’t, then this abuse can continue. I knew that future generations, like my children, would never be able to forgive me if they knew I had the chance to do something and I decided to stay silent,” he told The Daily Wire.

The hospital was not only continuing the procedures, it was growing the program.

“They were giving every indication to the public that they were shutting down this program, but I worked there, I did surgery there, I knew categorically this was untrue. They not only continued the program but expanded it behind closed doors. Especially as a doctor, trust is the most important currency that we have, and the fact that they were lying to the public is an egregious violation of medical ethics,” Haim said in an appearance on The Ingraham Angle Monday night.

Such surgeries on a minor create a steady cash flow for hospitals. The minor will have perpetual need for treatment and services, Haim said.

“Imagine what happens when you take a vulnerable, confused kid when they are 11 years old, and you start them on puberty blockers. What you have created is a chronic medical patient. For the rest of their lives, they are going to be tethered to the boundaries of a hospital,” he said.

Haim is employed as a general surgeon in a small Texas town.

Anyone could face Biden admin’s wrath

“It just seems that there is no end to the weaponization of the justice system. They are going after President Trump at the highest levels. They're going after good faith doctors that are blowing the whistles at lower levels. That means every single person that is against the Biden ideological agenda is at risk of some sort of prosecution,” Severino said.