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I found my ex-husband's medical records. He has hep c. I told some people. He says I'm...

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lawsonloriann | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 27, 2008 at 10:34 AM via web

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I found my ex-husband's medical records. He has hep c. I told some people. He says I'm committing a felony and slander. I know I'm ok on the slander.

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urthona | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted October 27, 2008 at 11:20 PM (Answer #1)

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Yes, you’re most likely OK on the slander issue. Truth is an absolute defense to a defamation claim, so a defamation suit would fail if the medical records contain a valid diagnosis (or if it was reasonable for you to assume that the records provided a valid diagnosis).

It’s also unlikely that you are violating any privacy law. Federal medical privacy laws, such as HIPAA, apply only to medical records maintained by healthcare providers, health plans, and health clearinghouses. It’s possible, however, that a state privacy law could apply under these circumstances. As a first step, consult the first link to see whether your state’s privacy laws protect medical records.

Legalities aside, you may want to consider more carefully the ethical issues involved in publicizing your ex-husband’s medical history.

Disclaimer: This post contains general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation. Each reader should consult a lawyer if you want a qualified professional’s assurance that this information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular situation.

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lawsonloriann | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 28, 2008 at 9:32 AM (Answer #2)

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I only released the info to family members when he defaulted on the divorce agreement and my car got repo'd.  He was required to pay for the car and keep insurance on it until he put it in my name,,,and as soon as I get stable enough in my new job I am going to  get my lawyer to draw up the paperwork for contempt because of that.  Right now I feel no ethical reason to keep any thing he has done a secret,,,,sorry I am still a little bitter,,,thanks for the response, I really appreciate the advice.

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