Medical Groups Support Limbaugh's Privacy Bid

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Three medical organizations have asked a court for permission to support Rush Limbaugh's (search) attempts to keep his medical records sealed.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (search), the Florida Pain Initiative and the National Foundation for the Treatment of Pain want to file a friend-of-the-court brief in the conservative radio show host's drug case, arguing doctor-patient privilege is at stake.

The groups would join the American Civil Liberties Union (search) in supporting Limbaugh's legal fight to keep his records private.

"If medical records suddenly become tools of law enforcement, people will be reluctant to seek medical help, reluctant to level with their doctors," said Mary Baluss, a Washington lawyer with The Pain Law Institute (search) who helped write Tuesday's petition to the 4th District Court of Appeal.

Prosecutors say investigators have followed state laws since beginning their investigation last year, after Limbaugh's former maid told them she was Limbaugh's longtime drug supplier.

The appeals court on Jan. 13 ordered the records sealed until the appeal is further reviewed.

Prosecutors seized the records in November. They obtained search warrants after learning Limbaugh received more than 2,000 painkillers, prescribed by four doctors in six months.

Limbaugh's attorneys argue that the seizure violated Limbaugh's privacy and that the investigation was politically motivated.