Corporate Compliance

Battle over minors’ privacy waged in Indiana

Compliance Monitor, April 27, 2005

A fight over patient privacy and government access to medical records is playing out in an Indiana courtroom, the Indianapolis Star reported April 19, as Planned Parenthood of Indiana has filed suit seeking to block the state's attorney general from gaining access to the records of patients who are younger than 14.

According to the Star's report, children younger than 14 who have had sex are considered victims of sex crimes under Indiana statute. Deputy Attorney General Thomas Fisher said in court that his office needs the records to ensure that children are not being abused. The state also maintains that clinics--including those operated by organizations such as Planned Parenthood--have an obligation to report any unlawful treatment, such as abuse.

Planned Parenthood's attorney, Kenneth Falk, countered that if the state is successful in its requests for records, it might prove dangerous because it could sway minors away from seeking reproductive healthcare, the Star reported.

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