Donate to CLRP Visit CLRP Facebook Page Visit CLRP Twitter Page

Access to Records

The right to access medical records is related to confidentiality. In this area, however, the rights regarding psychiatric records are not identical to those regarding other medical records. In general people are entitled to receive copies of their medical records. [CGS § 4-104, CGS § 20-7(c)]. However, a patient in a psychiatric hospital may be refused the opportunity to inspect his or her records. [CGS §17a-548(b)] If the request is in connection with litigation related to the hospitalization, access should be given. However, in other cases, the facility may refuse to disclose any portion of your records only when the facility determines that:

  1. it would create a substantial risk that the patient would inflict life threatening injury to self or others; or
  2. the patient would experience a severe deterioration in mental state; or
  3. it would violate an assurance or confidentiality furnished to another person provided that such portion of the record is disclosed which would not constitute an invasion of privacy of another person or violate an assurance or confidentiality furnished to another person.

If a hospital refuses access to records, the decision can be appealed in Superior Court.

The facilities may charge for copies, but no one should be denied copies because of an inability to pay. You may state that you are indigent and unable to pay, and there is a presumption that this is true. [CGS § 19a-490b(d)].

The right of a person who has a conservator to release his or her own records is part of the right of access to records. In the case of Phoebe G. v. Solnit, the Connecticut Supreme Court said that individuals with conservators do not lose the right and ability to retain advocates and lawyers to assist in treatment planning, which includes the right to sign a release allowing that person to access her or his records and to obtain information from her or his case manager. The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services abides by that decision.

CASE: Phoebe G. v. Solnit (1999) 

OLR Research Report Regarding Patient Access to Medical Records

Top ] [ Back ]



I Need Help Necesito Ayuda Intake Checklist Contact Us