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If divorcing parents request a child's medical records

Article

Parents going through divorce and custody battles have been requesting immunization records and letters about treatment of their kids' health conditions, primarily to prove that they're adequate caregivers. What are the legal implications for me? What are my obligations? To whom may I give this information?

Parents going through divorce and custody battles have been requesting immunization records and letters about treatment of their kids' health conditions, primarily to prove that they're adequate caregivers. What are the legal implications for me? What are my obligations? To whom may I give this information?

Generally, both parents can consent to their child's care and therefore are entitled to copies of the child's medical records. It doesn't matter whether the parents are married, getting divorced, or already divorced. Unless you believe releasing the information will harm the child (or someone else) or you know the parent no longer has legal custody of the child, you must release the requested records to the parent.

Send your practice management questions to: PMQA Editor, Medical Economics, 123 Tice Blvd., Suite 300,Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677-7664, or send an e-mail to mepractice@advanstar.com (please include your regular postal address).

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Jennifer N. Lee, MD, FAAFP
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health