Legal Medicine

Legal Pearls: Filling Out Medical Form at Patient’s Request Should Not Lead to Further Disclosures


    Ann W. Latner, JD

    In this case, an employee had requested medical leave and was required by her employer to have her physician complete a certification form. The employee asked her physician’s office to complete the form for medical leave from her job, which the physician did. Sometime later, however, a representative of the employer contacted the physician’s office requesting further information, specifically what medications the employee was taking. Although the physician’s nurse complied with the request, she did so without obtaining permission from or speaking to the patient/employee.

    Was the physician’s nurse allowed to do so?

    (Answer and discussion on the next page)