A Medical Professional's Obligations Regarding Police Requests
Jun 5, 2019
Health-care providers need to stand their ground when police officers express an interest in patients’ medical information, says Toronto health lawyer Brooke Shekter.
Ontario’s Court of Appeal recently upheld the drunk-driving acquittal of a woman involved in a car crash in which a person was killed after finding a police officer asked a nurse for her urine-test results before seeking a search warrant.
The unanimous three-judge panel of Ontario’s top court ruled the trial judge was right to exclude the evidence under s. 24(2) of the Charter.
Shekter, associate with TTL Health Law, says she can understand why medical professionals might feel intimidated by law enforcement officers.
“The police were obviously in the wrong, and completely infringed on this person’s Charter rights, but at the same time, there is really no excuse for self-regulated health professionals not to be aware of their duties, and the importance of confidentiality,” she tells AdvocateDaily.com. “The better you know your obligations, the harder it is for someone to shake you from them.