AFA of PA ACTION ALERT
April 30, 2014
Ask Your State Representative to Oppose SB 27
Senate Bill 27 has to do with the exchange of information between child protective services (CPS) and medical practitioners during an investigation by CPS for abuse or neglect. It would eliminate the traditional physician-patient privilege by which physicians are required to keep medical information confidential.It would also entitle medical practitioners to obtain information about investigations from CPS that have nothing to do with a child’s health.
Here are some problems:
- In any report of suspected child abuse, the bill states that the medical practitioner must provide Child Protective Services with medical information about the child and any other child in the household. All of this information must be provided to Child Protective Services without the consent of the parent, a court order, or a subpoena.
- Second, if requested by a medical practitioner, Child Protective Services must provide the medical practitioner with information about any investigation involving a child who is a patient. This includes the identity of other medical practitioners treating the child from whom medical records may be obtained.
- Even without the request of the child’s medical practitioner, CPS is obligated to provide the medical practitioner with information about any investigation involving the child, any service plan developed for the child and the child’s family, and the outcome of the investigation. This information must be provided to the medical practitioner regardless of the nature of the investigation. This means that if the parents are being investigated for such things as failing to properly supervise their children or educate them appropriately, their medical professional will receive all information about the investigation.
This bill, although probably well-intended, is an invasion of privacy and a violation of parental rights. In the words of the Home School Legal Defense Association, “it is unwarranted and unreasonable disclosure of personal information about families.”
This bill is currently in the House Committee on Children and Youth. If your State Rep is on that committee, contact him or her and ask for a ‘No” vote to stop this invasion of privacy and attack on parental rights. Go to our ACTION CENTER to send a message to your State Representative asking that he or she vote “No” on SB 27.