Generally, our medical records and our children’s medical records are private and our medical providers may not them. (See NY CPLR 4504(a)). This “privacy” or privilege from disclosure is based upon what is referred to as the “doctor-patient” privilege. However, in New York, when a mandated reporter makes a report of suspected child abuse or maltreatment/neglect that actually results in an investigation by a Child Protective Services agency, that mandatory reporter must comply with CPS’s request for records “relating to such report” including the medical records of any patient or client of that mandatory reporter that are “essential for a full investigation” of the suspected child abuse, maltreatment or neglect. (See Soc. Ser. Law 415)).
This applies to doctors or other quasi-medical personal who report suspected child abuse, neglect or maltreatment. In other words, if you take your child to the doctor and the doctor finds a bruise that leads him or her to suspect abuse (even though the bruise was from a football game in the backyard) and file a report, your doctor must comply with a subsequent CPS request for any records of any of his or her patients or clients which relate to the report the doctor filed.
Therefore, not only might the doctor have to provide that child’s records, he might also have to provide the medical records of your other children if they would be essential to a full investigation by CPS. Furthermore, should your child be older and thus going to your doctor, your medical records might be turned over to CPS if they are deemed essential to a full investigation by CPS of the suspected abuse, maltreatment or neglect of your child.
Being the subject of a CPS investigation can be terrifying. You will realize immediately that the rights you thought this Country cherished simply don’t exist. Many New York Child Protective Service agencies and their investigators push the outer limits of the law with many actually operating outside the law.
If you even suspect you might be the subject of a CPS investigation in New York, call Tilem & Campbell toll free at 1-877-377-8666 for a free consultation or contact us through our website.

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