How much of my medical history can a hospital give dcf without my consent?

Asked almost 3 years ago - Worcester, MA

I use cannabis for a medical condition that the hospital was not treating me for. I had a baby a month ago at this hospital and they gave a drug test. I failed because of my cannabis use and for nothing else. the hospital called dcf and gave them allot of info about my medical history. most of which had nothing to do with my pregnancy. what is the hospital aloud to tell them if I don't sign a hipaa release?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Michael L Rich

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unfortunately, mandated reporting laws outweigh medical privacy ones. If the hospital "has reasonable cause to believe that a child is suffering physical or emotional injury resulting from: (i) abuse inflicted upon him which causes harm or substantial risk of harm to the child’s health or welfare, including sexual abuse; (ii) neglect, including malnutrition; or (iii) physical dependence upon an addictive drug at birth" it must report to DCF. Then DCF must investigate and "Notwithstanding any privilege created by statute or common law relating to confidential communications or any statute prohibiting the disclosure of information but subject to subsection (j) of section 51A, a mandated reporter shall answer questions and provide information posed by the department relating to an investigation conducted under this section". So, it only matters if they think it affects how your child is cared for.

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Child protection services

Child protection services (CPS) is a government agency that protects children from abuse and neglect. This abuse could be from injury or other harm.

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