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Court Discusses Release of Confidential Medical Records


Queens Birth Injury 4

This is a matter that involves, Stephen F. who is a child who is under the age of eighteen. It is alleged that Stephen has been neglected by the respondents, Carol/S.F. et al. The case is being heard in the Queens County Family Court. The law guardian of Stephen is Jerry Gruen. The petitioner in the case is represented by Frank J. Carabetta. The respondent is represented by Ulrich Fritsche. The Judge for the case is Mara T. Thorpe.

Case at Hand

This is a case of neglect that was started based on article 10 of the Family Court Act. The Beth Israel Medical Center is moving to end a subpoena that was served to the petitioner for all of the records in regard to their contact with either or both of the respondents in the case. The Medical Center states that in the absence of a court order being issued for justifiable cause, the disclosure of any of their records is prohibited under the U.S.C. section 1175.

Case Discussion

A Staten Island Personal Injury Lawyer said the U.S.C. in relevance to this matter states that the records of identity, prognosis, diagnosis, and treatment of any patient shall be kept confidential and disclosed only under the circumstances provided by the subsection of this act.

The subsection provides that records can be disclosed if it is authorized by direct order from the court. A New York Injury Lawyer said the court must have competent jurisdiction in the matter and show an application of good cause for the release of the records. Additionally, the section states that in order to show good cause the court has to weigh the public interest as well as the need for disclosure against possible injury to the patient and the physician patient relationship and the services provided.

The injury to the patient refers to disclosing records that may cause the patient to fail to participate in treatment as they fear that their records may be disclosed and that confidentiality is not available to them at the physician’s office.

The other issue that comes up in regard to this clause is the public interest to protect children from abuse or injury and to safeguard children’s mental, emotional, and physical well being. This is represented in several cases where medical records were disposed in relationship to alleged abuse or neglect.

A Queens Personal Injury Lawyer said that other courts that have been called to apply the federal statute in a child protective case have determined that where the information is material and the disclosure of the medical documents is necessary in order to establish the allegation of abuse or neglect, the public interest to protect the child’s well being outweighs the physician-patient relationship and treatment services.

Court Ruling

This court agrees with the conclusion that in the case of a child’s well being if necessary the medical records should be disclosed.

In this particular case, the confidentiality of a drug treatment program requires the court to scrutinize how absolutely necessary the medical records in regard to the safety of the child. In the four allegations of neglect of this case, the records are most relevant to the allegation that the mother is unable to care for her child adequately based on her misuse of drugs.

The court hereby grants the request to squash the subpoena as there is not any record stating that the child is neglected by the father.

Medical records should be kept confidential and if you feel that your rights have been violated in any way contact the offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. Whether you have a medical malpractice issue, have been in a car accident or construction accident, our team of lawyers will be happy to discuss your case with you and determine what steps you should take. You can contact one of our New York City offices to set up your free consultation.

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