TITLE 9
Courts and Civil Procedure–Procedure Generally

CHAPTER 9-17
Witnesses

SECTION 9-17-24


§ 9-17-24 Privileged communications to and information obtained by health care providers.

In every legal action, both civil and criminal, no health care provider shall be competent to testify concerning any information obtained about a patient, nor shall he or she be required to produce any documentary evidence obtained about a patient, in the course of the customary professional health care relationship, without the consent of the patient, his or her legal guardian, or, if the patient is deceased, his or her next-of-kin, executor, or administrator. No health care provider shall be allowed in giving testimony to disclose any confidential communication or health care information, properly entrusted to him or her in his or her professional capacity and within the customary health care relationship, and necessary and proper to enable him or her to discharge medical duties in the usual course of practice, without the consent of the patient, his or her legal guardian, or, if the patient is deceased, his or her next-of-kin, executor, or administrator. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a health care provider may be required to testify or produce documentary evidence regarding the medical condition of a patient:

(1) When a patient raises his or her own medical condition in a legal action;

(2) When a court determines that disclosure of health care information about a person is necessary to a determination of the perceptual capacity of that person as a witness in a legal proceeding and that information is unavailable from any source other than a health care provider;

(3) When a court orders or the parties to a legal action agree to a medical evaluation of a party or witness by a health care provider in order to facilitate the resolution of the legal action;

(4) When the question of the competence of a decedent is at issue before the court; or

(5) When consent is not required pursuant to chapter 37.3 of title 5; provided, however, that any such information shall not be admissible in any proceeding against the patient to whom the information pertains.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 341, § 1; P.L. 1989, ch. 503, § 1.)