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Is it legal for a NY University to ask for medical records and personal medical information?

Purdys, NY |

I recently was hospitalized and missed three weeks of class. I notified my professor while I was in school and when I got out I was told that I needed to supply the university with my complete medical record, sign releases for my providers, meet with the school psychologist and meet with an outside therapist and have them sign a form for the school that included personal information in order to return. I told the school I would send them a letter from my outside doctor stating my dates of admission and that I saw my doctor after I was discharged. The school recieved it and said it wasn't sufficent enough.

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Attorney answers 3


I'd go a little farther than my colleagues - ask the university if they have any written policy regarding a student such as you resuming your studies. I wouldn't stand still for someone just telling you what they want. So long as you were a student in good standing when you were hospitalized, they'd have to have a clear-cut reason to deny you re-admittance, and that can't be on an ad hoc basis. The rules may entitle you to a hearing, or otherwise provide for protection of your rights.

I think you should consult with an attorney - preferably one familiar with education law - about this.

Good luck.

I am an attorney admitted solely in NY. None of the answers I submit on this forum constitutes legal advice, even to questioners in NY, and no attorney-client relationship is hereby created.



I have picked apart their policy which simply states I need a letter stating that I am ready to go back to classes from a medical professional. I have already given that to them. I asked them for their so called policy on paper and they have not responded. I told them that I am requesting to be re-admitted to the university and registering for Fall Classes as I have adhered to the Student Handbook policy on re-entry.

Susan Pernick

Susan Pernick


It sounds like you're getting a run-around. I'm not sure why you're asking to be readmitted; unless you formally withdrew or the school threw you out, you should be listed as being on some sort of leave. What was their response to you when you said you were asking to be re-admitted? What was the position of the person who said this? Have you spoken to the Dean of Students? Do you have an assigned advisor? Have you been told that you can't register for the fall? If so, you have a right to know why. Contact the ACLU, and tell them you're being discriminated against because you have an illness. They may refer you to another group, but that's where I'd start. I think you might be able to file a complaing with the NYS Education Department, but I'm not sure about this. Please let me know how you're doing. I've never practiced "education" law,but I'm somewhat familiar with the discrimination laws. Good luck.



Thank you, I used the term re-admitted interchangeably with re-entered, I am on a medical leave and I have supplied them with a doctors note. Everything you have stated thus far I have requested clearly and asked for by fact and policy and asked to register for the fall, but have not received a response. The person I am dealing with is the dean of students. What I believe occured is that and I don't believe I will ever be able to prove it is the hospital contacted my school which is prompting them to request all of this information. I did not give the hospital ( doctor) permission to do so, which is even a bigger problem in itself the hospital and what happened there.


Ask the school in writing the basis why they want you complete medical records.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


I'm only guessing but if you were hospitalized for psychological issues, the university apparently has concerns relating to your safety and/or mental well-being (whether justified or not at this point). I agree with the prior attorney's answer: get a written explanation from the school why it needs your complete medical record and why you need to meet with the school psychologist and an outside therapist.

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