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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27454
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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A friend of mine was seen by law enforcement leaving a house

Customer Question

A friend of mine was seen by law enforcement leaving a house known for methamphetamines. They followed him and pulled him over. After bringing a K9 unit and a lengthy search no drugs were found. A little over an hour after being released by law enforcement, he went to the emergency room. He told them that he had swallowed a large bag of meth and wanted it removed from his stomach before it leaked out and killed him. X-rays were eventually taken, but by then all of the Drug had leaked into his system. The x-ray simply showed an empty baggie in his stomach. Somehow the officers that pulled him over found out about his trip the E.R. They subpoena his records for evidence to charge him with Tampering With Evidence. The hospital turned all records about the incident over to the police. Did the hospital have the right to give my friend's records to the police?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I'm reviewing your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and I may also have to respond to other customers.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi Zoey. Thank you for your help. I'm very worried about my friend. We really need to get this answered so we can deal with this issue.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sorry Zoey can't afford a phone call.
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

There are privacy laws that health care providers must comply with, but there are exceptions to those when other facts and circumstances make it necessary to disclose information. A hospital is entitled to disclose information about a patient when that patient is believed to have committed a crime. Here's a useful PDF about disclosure that you'll find helpful.

In many instances and in many states, hospitals are also mandatory reporters of certain types of criminal conduct. So while this is something that can be explored at a hearing as the case proceeds, there are many circumstances under which the hospital is well within their rights to release patient information of this sort.

I have to leave the computer for about an hour, but feel free to post a follow up by replying on this question thread and I'll get it when I return.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.