Iowa Supreme Court: Parents cannot access minor child's mental health records if it is not in the best interests of the child


The Associated Press has an article about a court case in Iowa with important implications for the privacy of mental health records of minors in Iowa.   The issue before the court was:

The issue we must decide is whether a divorced parent with legal custody can obtain her children’s mental health records by presenting a waiver to the mental health provider when disclosure of the records is not in the best interest of the children.

The case is SUSAN HARDER vs. ANDERSON, ARNOLD, DICKEY, JENSEN, GULLICKSON and SANGER, L.L.P. and JANE PINI, and you can find the court’s opinion here (pdf). Unlike some states where a child’s right to confidentiality of mental health records is somewhat age-related,  the Iowa legislature never distinguished between adults and minors in terms of rights to confidentiality.

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