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Legal issues for a hospital administrator: release of personal records

You are the hospital administrator, and this situation has been brought to your attention. The mother of a pregnant minor seeks to obtain the daughter's medical records because she wishes to see if the daughter indicated to hospital personnel the identity of the father of her unborn child. The patient is a 12-year-old, unmarried youth who lives at home with her parents, and her parents are paying for her obstetrical care. The patient does not consent to the release of her medical records to her parents. The mother has made it known to you that she intends to sue if she does not get the records as a result of this request.

Step 1 â?" Identify the facts. You may itemize these in a bulleted list.

Step 2 â?" Identify any legal issues that are present with regard to privacy and confidentiality, and identify the doctrines and/or duties that apply. You may itemize these in a bulleted list.

Step 3 â?" In your own words, elaborate on the legal issues that are present in the scenario, if any.

Solution Preview

Hospital administrator:

The facts are that:
? The pregnant minor indicated in the medical records the identity of the father of the unborn child because the patient did not consent to the release of her medical records to her parents.
? The parents are paying for the pregnant minor the obstetrical care because the patient is an unmarried youth who lives at home with the parents.
? The mother intends to sue if she does not get the records as a result of the request.

The legal issues with regard to privacy and confidentiality:

Courts have used ethical obligations as the basis for imposing legal obligations although ethical guidelines are not binding by law. Courts generally allow a cause of action for a breach of confidentiality against a treating physician who divulges medical information that is confidential without proper authorization from the patient ...

Solution Summary

Legal issues are identified from this case.

$2.19