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Substance Abuse Privacy
290dd-2 of Title 42 of the United States Code requires records of the identity, diagnosis,
prognosis, or treatment of any patient maintained under any federal substance abuse
program to be kept confidential. The statute makes appropriate exceptions for use
of records with the consent of the patient, by medical personnel, and by court order.
The statute also allows use of medical records without the consent of patients for
research and audits, but requires that patient identities not be revealed. Anyone who
violates the statute may be fined.
Unfortunately, the statute does not give the same protections to private substance
abuse programs, giving special preference only to the patients of those programs that
are affiliated with the federal government.
Doe v. Broderick (4th Cir. 2000)
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