AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

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bushwackerbob
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AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by bushwackerbob »

About ten years ago when I was in college, I had an assignment in my Health class. My professor told us that our assignment was to go attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, then write a report about what we had learned in the meeting. (It was an interesting experience, it challenged a lot of my stereotypes regarding the kinds of people that had these addictions in that there were young and old, rich and poor, and many in between) I was talking to a friend the other day about my experience and she immediately got pissed off at my professor for the assignment, saying that it was a tremendous invasion of their privacy that I attended this meeting. I admit that I never thought of it like that before but maybe she has a point. Before anyone asks, my professor did not assign any particular meeting for us to attend, that we could choose on our own which particular venue to visit, meaning that the people running these meetings had no idea that there were outsiders assigned to chronicle the nature of these meetings. I would like to know what the people of this forum think about this, should students be assigned to these AA meetings or is it an invasion of their privacy.



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GeekyPornCritic
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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by GeekyPornCritic »

Studying a group of people for scientific research for health is not violating a person's privacy. Doctors need to know who their patients are. Alcoholism does not discriminate and can affects anyone from any social class and race. Proper research requires researchers to observe people with these problems. This is common practice in research.

How can one create a new program to help alcoholics without research? People will without key information if they are aware you are studying them. You need them to behavior as they normally would in that environment.

The only violation of privacy is gathering information such as people's names. However, that did not occur.



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tallyho
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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by tallyho »

I think there should have been consent given personally but Im British and polite.
At least it wasnt Paranoia Anonymous you infiltrated.
:giggle:


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bushwackerbob
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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

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I think there should have been consent given personally but Im British and polite.
At least it wasnt Paranoia Anonymous you infiltrated.
:giggle:
I think that a Paranoia Anonymous meeting comedy sketch would be a great bit for Saturday Night Live.



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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by Imagineer »

What is the organization's position?



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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by Heroine Addict »

It does seem a bit shitty for a bunch of non-alcoholic "tourists" to gawp at accounts of other people's traumatic experiences and then exploit them for the personal gain of better academic grades.

Would the same tutor encourage such exploitation of a cancer support group, for example?


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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by viking »

It was wrong for the professor to make the assignment without first getting written permission from AA that stated exactly how the information gained would be used and how the privacy of those at the meeting would be protected. The student should have announced at the outset of the meeting that he was there to learn about the organization and write a report about what he had learned, and then ask for permission to remain.



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batgirl1969
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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by batgirl1969 »

Too bad it wasn't an assignment to the sex addicts annonymous group, maybe the observor would have bitten off more than they could chew and learned a world of new opportunities



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ksire_99
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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

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Last edited by ksire_99 8 months ago, edited 1 time in total.



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ksire_99
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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by ksire_99 »

Too bad it wasn't an assignment to the sex addicts annonymous group, maybe the observor would have bitten off more than they could chew and learned a world of new opportunities
LOL



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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

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Too bad it wasn't an assignment to the sex addicts annonymous group, maybe the observor would have bitten off more than they could chew and learned a world of new opportunities
If that was the assignment, I would have asked if there was anything I could do to earn extra credit!



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batgirl1969
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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by batgirl1969 »

Too bad it wasn't an assignment to the sex addicts annonymous group, maybe the observor would have bitten off more than they could chew and learned a world of new opportunities
If that was the assignment, I would have asked if there was anything I could do to earn extra credit!
guess it also depends what these "addicts" looked like...lol
but yes, would be an amazing assignment for sure..especially if there was some fun freaky people in the class



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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by Femina »

I feel like its a case by case basis. I don't feel like a professor should just top of the hat say, 'Go watch these people suffer and write about what you think about their suffering to me for your own benefit' necessarily but we also can't properly conclude anything about what we haven't actually had the time to experience or observe. Additionally, if its a learning hospital/organization with consent for such stuff given and the inductees aware that said studies are occurring that's a very different scenario. I feel like the divide between what we have a right to see and what we need to see in order to comprehend is a bit of a tenuous line that waffles. We don't have the individual right to wallow in the suffering of other people, but as a society neither should we be denied the right to try and better ourselves through understanding.

There's also that in an AA meeting your privacy is already shattered by the presence of several other members of the group. Sitting in and observing has to be considered better than trying to get in to watch by becoming a raging alcoholic yourself... you know, for study purposes.



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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by viking »

I'm disappointed that some feel that individuals seeking help with an addiction to alcohol (or sex, gambling or any other addiction) are fair game for humor. I hope that those who find this humorous never have a family member or friend who is struggling with any form of addiction.



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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by Imagineer »

From AA's website --

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

Meetings. At the heart of the program are its meetings, which are conducted autonomously by A.A. groups in cities and towns throughout the world. Anyone may attend open meetings of A.A. These usually consist of talks by one or more speakers who share impressions of their past illness and their present recovery in A.A. Some open meetings — to which helping professionals, the media and others are invited — are held for the specific purpose of informing the nonalcoholic (and possibly alcoholic) public about A.A. Closed meetings are for alcoholics only.



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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by bushwackerbob »

I'm disappointed that some feel that individuals seeking help with an addiction to alcohol (or sex, gambling or any other addiction) are fair game for humor. I hope that those who find this humorous never have a family member or friend who is struggling with any form of addiction.
I made one of the comments and my brother in law is addicted to alcohol. He has a pretty good sense of humor and I am confident he would find them funny. I mean, what are we really talking about here? two or three innocuous comments? Popular culture is rife with examples of humor at the expense of people with addictions. The British show Absolutely Fabulous which ran for years was about two women who basically traipsed through life drunk and abusing drugs. It was a sitcom. You have female standup comedians joke about being raped by Mexicans, abortions, and pedophilia and yet you are disappointed in me and others on the forum? If you think I crossed some imaginary line with those comments, well then I have news for you, that line was obliterated a long time ago. Believe it or not I do have compassion for those that have these addictions, I just do not believe making a few innocuous comments renders that belief to be invalid. There is so much in the world to complain and bitch about that I guess I find it unfortunate and hard to fathom that you take me and others to task on this.



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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by Femina »

I'm disappointed that some feel that individuals seeking help with an addiction to alcohol (or sex, gambling or any other addiction) are fair game for humor. I hope that those who find this humorous never have a family member or friend who is struggling with any form of addiction.
I somewhat disagree with this as someone with many an addicted relative. Humor is an insurmountable source of comfort for some in times of dire straights. When suffering from depression, anxiety, addiction, physical debilitation, terminal illness etc. the best and most freely accessible medicine is most commonly a good laugh. Laughter really IS the best medicine. Poking fun at oneself or laughing 'with' is of course different from being laughed 'at'.

That being said, if you have friends or familly struggling with addiction, don't be afraid to try to get them to find some humor in their situation. It's never a bad thing to get someone laughing at themselves, just you know... read the room.



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tallyho
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Re: AA Meeting Privacy Concerns

Post by tallyho »

Laugh and the world laughs with you...
(Cry and you are probably a Welsh fan)


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