AAPS Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Protect Patient Privacy

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AAPS filed an amicus brief today with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of patients’ rights to the privacy of their medical records. The question before the court is whether the Court will review the West Virginia Supreme Court’s ruling allowing state law to mandate that state-run psychiatric hospitals disclose nearly all patient records to an independent organization without patient authorization.

Read our brief at: http://aapsonline.org/judicial/aaps-amicus-wv-v-eh-4-14-2016.pdf

It reads in part:

Medical privacy is an issue of national significance. The degree of confidentiality that a patient retains in his mental health records as guaranteed by federal law – but improperly overruled by the state court below – is a matter that warrants granting the petition for certiorari.

Just as expediency is no justification for a sweeping violation of the attorney-client privilege, broad objectives of public health do not justify intruding on the confidential patient-psychiatrist relationship. This Court has not hesitated to grant certiorari to examine and protect the confidential relationship between attorneys and clients, and should likewise grant the petition here to review the infringement below on the rights of patients in the confidentiality of their treatment by psychiatrists.

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