The BFU has answered - instead of answers: 2 complaints
We had sent several queries to the BFU with entry date 13th August. We quoted from the first answer the BFU gave us, which we wanted to have clarified. These were our questions, but instead of clear answers to our questions, the BFU Press Office complains.
That we had published their answers, which could only be seen as factual information, as quotations.
You have to know that press offices are usually dissatisfied with the media and journalists, if they either don't write what the Press Office would like them to write, or if there is a critical follow-up. In this respect, the BFU's complaint is nothing unusual.
However, there is no legal entitlement for an authority not to publish its answers as quotes. Nevertheless, they are obliged to provide information.
It is common practice that the media like to quote such answers, or parts of them. And has its reasons to remain as close as possible to what an authority answers. And also not to have to expose oneself to the accusation that one has not correctly reproduced the information. The fact that one or the other authority tries to enforce its own modalities of reproduction is explained by the fact that authorities are basically monopolies. And they forget that they are - actually - service providers: for people, including the media. But this obviously does not go well with the BFU's official culture.
That we published only a part of their last answer, omitting the decisive part.
Presumably, (but we don't yet know exactly why we have to ask again to gain clarity), we didn't clearly understand one of their phrases and therefore verified it beforehand because, from our point of view, it was rather "nebulous", at least not to be understood clearly, namely: That the medical opinion in question, which the pilot in question is not allowed to see, is obviously constantly mixed with the clinical information of both pilots, i.e. that of the captain and the co-pilot. And that is why the co-pilot - for data protection reasons so to speak - cannot find out what concerns him alone.
That's why we asked again today:
1. Does your reference to the fact that the medical report considers both the pilot and the co-pilot in terms of content and inseparably with the view to the shared event perhaps mean, that the medical report is written linguistically in such a way that the clinical data of both pilots are continuously compared and interwoven with each other?
2. Would it have been possible for the co-pilot to have (or be allowed to) learn about his own data by anonymizing the data of his colleague.
3. If the latter would not have been possible: Was this deliberately arranged in such a way that neither pilot could (or was allowed to) learn anything about the clinical results?
4. If option no.3 does not apply: Is it customary for the BFU, when commissioning medical reports in such cases, to ensure that patients are not allowed to know anything about their state of health?
5. If it is not customary at BFU for patients not to have access to their personal medical findings: Why, then, was it not ensured in this specific case that those affected were allowed to know what the Air Force's Aeromedical Institute had determined about their physical condition?
6. Can the BFU imagine that in such cases, those affected might have a legitimate interest in finding out exactly what the medical results are and how they came about methodically - irrespective of the information mentioned in the final report starting on page 30?
And we concluded, that we did not consider the Press Office's announcement that its complaints no.1 and no.2 were no basis for further cooperation or exchange with us, as a threat.
Perhaps the press office of the BFU meant it as such. But authorities are basically obliged to provide information. And if they think that as a monopoly they can decide for themselves who they want to give information to and who they don't want to give it to, then information can quite easily be forced through an administrative court. But it will probably not (have to) come to that.
We will continue to report.