Keeping Medical Records Private

Who can see my medical records?

Generally, Florida law does not allow your medical records to be seen by anyone except your legal guardian,but, because you are in DCF custody, the court issues orders for other parties in the case to obtain your medical records. This means the GAL, case manager, your attorney if you have one, and the judge are able to see your medical records.

Can my doctor tell anyone what we talk about?

Most of what you talk about with your doctor is confidential, meaning it is not told to anyone. Your doctor is not allowed to tell anything that you say during your visit, unless you provide written permission for them to tell. You may have provided written permission during your first visit. If you are unsure if you have provided this permission, you can ask your doctor before telling them information you do not want shared with anyone else.  If you report that you are being abused or neglected, doctors must report this. Also, some information may be shared with parties on the case because they have a court order to see your medical records.

A picture of an adorable blue cartoon pit bull named Scrappy.

SCRAPPY TIP: Ask your doctor about what information may be shared with others.


Can my medical records be given to DCF or seen in court?

Yes. Florida law usually does not let anyone other than your legal guardian view your medical records, but DCF will see your records for the purpose of investigations of times that you were abused, neglected, or abandoned. Also, parties on the case such as the case manager, the GAL, the attorney if you have one, and the judge may be able to see your medical records if they ask for them. The court usually gives an order allowing parties to get medical, mental health, and education records. However, a court cannot see any records of STD or HIV testing and treatment.

How do I keep my health information private?

Florida allows for medical records to be seen in certain times, such as in your dependency case. If a court or a party to the case wants to see medical records that you do not want them to see, you can ask the court for an attorney if you do not already have one, and have your attorney ask for a protective order that does not let anyone other than the court see your medical records. The court will look at every party’s position before deciding if your records should be kept private.

The Law

 Fla. Stat. sec. 381.004, 384.30, 456.057

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