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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102496
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have a relative who is incarcerated but is being housed at

Customer Question

I have a relative who is incarcerated but is being housed at the Oregon State Hospital because he is being treated for mental illness. This was after a plea bargain by the Court. My relative is concerned because he feels his civil rights are being violated. He says that medical information is being shared inappropriately among medical staff members, and he feels his doctor is attempting to force him to take medication when he does not want to. I explained to my nephew that part of the plea agreement was that he will be treated for his mental health condition, but now he even questions if he has a mental health condition at all. I'm not asking you for medical advice, but can you please tell me what, if any, civil and HIPAA rights he still has as a prisoner, and if it's possible that any are being violated? Will you please also give me a legal reference? I'd like to pass the information to him and show him where he can read the information for himself. He doesn't always believe that people are being truthful when they talk to him. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (A) This is general information and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms; and (B) please wait to rate until I ask you to do so. It may take a few replies for me to be able to render an complete answer. I will let you know when I do.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Can you please tell me (1) what kind of medical information is being shared, and (2) with whom - the guards? Other physicians? The Court? Etc.

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Information about his schizophrenia and treatment plan is being shared among medical staff members (other doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses) in order to consult about the treatment plan. My relative has read such letters and reports in his medical file, and I'm sure it's also being shared verbally (phone calls, in person, etc). . Information is not being shared with prison guards or correctional officers (other than very general information about his diagnosis). Information is not being shared with other patients or unauthorized family members.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

This is not a HIPAA violation. A medical entity may disclose Protected Health Information under HIPAA to facilitate treatment, payment, or health care operations without a patient's express written authorization. See 45 C.F.R. 164.524(a)(1)(ii). So what the facility or his individual team is doing is not a violation.

In addition, HIPAA allows the facility to disclose protected health information to law enforcement officials for law enforcement purposes as required by law, so they can let the officers know if they wanted to provided the Court allowed for this.

Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I want to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith by rating me positively.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!