An 18-year-old friend of mine who recently died once told me that he was molested by his grandmother when he was 6, and she strangled him when he tried to tell his parents. I’m seeking some form of legal or social recourse, and I have reason to believe his therapist may have valuable information. What barriers could keep me or his parents from that information, and how can I get around those barriers? I live in WI, but any resulting court cases would be in Avondale or another suburb of Phoenix, AZ.
While it appears you have the best of intentions, as a friend (and non-relative or spouse) of your friend who is deceased, it is highly unlikely you would have, or be able to get, legal standing or ability to access his private health information. If his parents sought to do that, they'd likely have a better chance than you would, although I can't say whether they'd have a strong chance or not. They'd need to consult directly with an AZ - licensed law firm with attorney(s) who practice in health and privacy law, and personal representative/estate type issues, to see whether and how the parents could seek access to the medical records per applicable laws. If the parents wound up obtaining the medical records, then they could decide whether to share them with you. If you believe a crime may have been committed and you have independent evidence (e.g. relevant texts from your deceased friend), it is possible that reporting that info or evidence you have to local AZ police, or to another law enforcement authority, could result in THEM obtaining access to your friend's medical records. Here I am just noting some possible routes, but I can't give legal advice as to any of your scenario, nor could I say you should or shouldn't make any given decision, as I don't know the full circumstances nor am I licensed in AZ law etc.
The answer above is not legal advice.
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