AAPS Speaks Out Against Another Warrantless Search by the Texas Medical Board

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On September 6, 2018 AAPS filed an amicus brief in support of Dr. Courtney Morgan’s legal challenge against of improper seizure of patient records by the Texas Medical Board.  Earlier this year, Dr. Morgan won a victory when a U.S. District Court denied the board’s motion to dismiss the challenge and ruled that the board staff cannot claim immunity. The TMB is now appealing the lower court’s ruling to the Fifth Circuit which AAPS is requesting be upheld.

The AAPS brief reads in part:

This case consists of yet another warrantless search perpetrated by Texas Medical Board (“TMB”) officials in violation of the Fourth Amendment, this time against the family medicine practice of Dr. Morgan. Once
again, the State seeks immunity for its repeated violations of this essential constitutional right, an immunity that would render as a dead letter the Fourth Amendment rights of patients and physicians.

Despite how the U.S. Supreme Court increasingly strengthens protections under the Fourth Amendment, including as recently as its just-completed Term, government officials at the TMB have continued to violate it with impunity.

Full Fourth Amendment safeguards for medical records are essential to the practice of good medicine, just as a robust attorney-client relationship is essential to the productive practice of law. Violations of the Fourth Amendment by public officials compel legal accountability. When a search of a physician’s office is
justified, then a valid search warrant can and should be obtained. But in the absence of that essential procedure of pre-compliance judicial review, physicians can no longer be confident that their medical advice, notes and personalized data inserted into medical charts will be kept private, and patients are deprived of confidentiality in their intimate disclosures to physicians.

Read the entire brief at: http://aapsonline.org/judicial/amicus-morgan-v-chapman-9-6-2018.pdf

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