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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 01-16-2014, 12:20 PM
ByMyself ByMyself is offline
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Default Child's health records - psychiatrist involved

I have a final divorce order that gives me specific rights to access health information of our children, without any consent needed from the other parent.

My D10 (just turned 10), became emotionally unwell in the midst of a sustained period of allegations by my ex and their advocates. We previously had a really good relationship, despite the fact that I was the stricter of the parents, and have made changes in my life (new partner and child over last few years).

I have not been able to maintain my regular (alternating weekend and midweek overnight) access with D10 because of her illness.

Part of our divorce order is that my ex is required to give me, in writing, results of all appointments/ meetings with doctors, specialists, therapists, etc.

My ex had refused to give me health card info, to help me get access to medical records on my own. I did eventually get the card numbers through Service Ontario (thanks to a post by Tayken).

Through CAS documents, I have discovered the existence of some reports from hospitals, when D10 was admitted overnight for mental health issues. I am trying to get these reports, but doctor in charge is not releasing, nor giving reasons for not releasing.

One of these psych reports (I became aware of this report through CAS documents) also indicates D10 admitted to hitting and kicking D6, and my ex downplayed those admissions to the doctor. This report goes a long way to bringing into question significant bruising on D6, which my ex, ex's friend, and D10 have attributed to me.

My ex has not disclosed any of these Dr. visits to me, contrary to our court order. The information in these reports sounds like it will help cast serious doubt as to the allegations, contrary to the position that my ex has taken (which is that their allegations are 100% fact).

As well, the therapist I am using to start supervised/ therapeutic access with D10, has agreed this information would likely be helpful, and has asked that I make available any information of this nature that I can get access to.

Back to my question...

Does anyone know how the process works, as a NCP, for gaining access to psych records for a minor child? Would the CP have access to this? When D10 goes into the hospital overnight, the doctors would surely share some information with the CP - I just want to know what the CP knows. And the CP is not sharing with me, despite requests.

I am contemplating trying to get the ex to sign consents specifically allowing the doctors involve to share information equally with me, at the same level of sharing as with my ex. I doubt it will fly, but I will try first.

Any other ideas of how to get this information? Or am I even entitled to it?
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2014, 12:30 PM
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arabian arabian is offline
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Maybe go to the source (psychiatrist's office) along with your court order and request reports?
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
We previously had a really good relationship, despite the fact that I was the stricter of the parents
One parent has to be the voice of reason, no doubt though were the child that doesn't want to be advised, ends up leaning

Quote:
have made changes in my life (new partner and child over last few years).
Congrats on that front, hopefully you didn't go in with yes closed this time?
Quote:

I have not been able to maintain my regular (alternating weekend and midweek overnight) access with D10 because of her illness.
What does that mean...that you didn't honour show up for your parenting time? I ask because if it's your parenting time as per the schedule, then the onus is on you to nurse the child with the illness

Quote:
My ex had refused to give me health card info, to help me get access to medical records on my own.
A good lesson for parents to know important info like this about their kid(s), as opposed to delegating / signing away this to the other party. If you are not already involved in this with you "new child".....use this weekend to get yourself up to speed and have all that info in your wallet / head.

Quote:
I doubt it will fly, but I will try first.
Obviously there is more to this story then than you are telling us if you are saying this? I guess your answer goes back to the root of the issue i.e. how things came to being like this?

***NOTE: You obviously have this: "alternating weekend and midweek overnight) access ", so why wasn't the release of medical info part of this deal when you went through court?

Checklist

- Be involved with your kid(s)
- Pay CS and sect 7 proportionate to income
- know which school / daycare you kid(s) go to
- Know the principal and teachers
- Know your kids health professionals
- Be involved with their school work, don't delegate this to others
- Play team sports with your kids (helps becoming team players at work and in relationships) as opposed to some nonsense like horse riding
- Take them on vacation
- Don't be afraid to discpline i.e. they won't always get what they want
- Encourage play dates
-

NOTE: Hanging with your friend/buddies at starbucks / timmies / pubs/ bars etc is secondary to your primary duties of being a parent. Once the kids are teens, then you get your life back


I can't even imagine not having to have grown up without both parents in my life (they are still going at 50+ yrs of marriage)....

*** Some kids that were deprived the other parent (not due to death), end up being the unforgiving/vicious/nasty/hateful types which trickles into their relationships

Last edited by FWB; 01-16-2014 at 12:57 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2014, 12:47 PM
ByMyself ByMyself is offline
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I have thought about trying to book an appointment with each of them. It's probably not a bad option for the next step.

I have emailed both doctors, (carefully worded, expressing my concerns for D10, letting them know her illness has come in the midst of custody dispute, offered to meet with them for an alternate perspective on what has happened) - and received no response.

My ex's position regarding D10's illness, is that D10 has witnessed so much DV by myself towards my ex, that she is now terrified of me. My ex has even discussed her allegations about me, in front of D10, to daycare staff (documented by daycare and CAS). The ex has taken D10 from doctor to doctor, several times retelling same allegations, to the point that it is cemented in D10's head that I am this monster.

So every time I get face to face with these doctors, I have to first climb out of the hole my ex has dug for me, to get the doctors to see that I am actually a reasonable person, genuinely concerned for D10's health. Once I get to that point, they have been actually quite helpful.

But my concerns with the psych records relate more to whether there is legislation that prevents the doctors from disclosing this info to me, or are they really needing my ex's specific consent? Or do both my ex and myself have no access to D10's records?
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Old 01-16-2014, 12:55 PM
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arabian arabian is offline
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I am confused. I thought you had a court order which specifically gives you access to your daughter's health records?

Has there been any significant incidence (dv, health issues, other orders) since the date of the FINAL order?
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2014, 01:13 PM
ByMyself ByMyself is offline
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@ FWB

Quote:
What does that mean...that you didn't honour show up for your parenting time? I ask because if it's your parenting time as per the schedule, then the onus is on you to nurse the child with the illness
During the period of allegations, my access was taken away (emerg motion by my ex) for a short period of time, for chance for police/ CAS to investigate my ex's allegations. This is a pretty normal scenario in the midst of serious allegations. Just after allegations came forward, CAS did in home visits (2) - and D10 was pretty much her normal self. No fears, worries, even when specifically asked by workers. But shortly afterwards, before access reinstated, a switch flipped in D10, and she became terrified to be around me, even supervised.

I did get my normal access schedule back in court - but by then it was too late - D10 was a mess. My ex was evasive about D10's therapist - but I eventually found out, and contacted therapist, and convinced them to involve me in therapy with D10. Started going well, then my ex got nasty with therapist, pulled D10 out of therapy, hasn't been back since.

I have tried many times to set up therapy, supervised access, therapeutic access, but my ex either blows it off, doesn't respond, or refuses to allow it to happen on days that are not my regular access schedule. I have taken away every obstacle/ reason my ex has put forward for not restarting therapy, but to no avail.

Which is why I am getting ready to go back into court to "force" this to happen.

Quote:
***NOTE: You obviously have this: "alternating weekend and midweek overnight) access ", so why wasn't the release of medical info part of this deal when you went through court?
There are actually several sections in our final order dealing with medical info. My ex is in contempt of all of the sections.

There is a requirement for them to relay results from appointments - including doctor names, dates/ locations of appointments, and results, in a specific amount of time. My ex does this for non-contentious issues, but not for ones that seem to be counter to her agenda against me.

There is a clause requiring a list of all doctors, therapists, etc. that children have seen in past, to be given to me within x number of days. I have pursued this several times with the ex, to no avail.

There is a clause for me to be informed of and involved with health issues regarding children, but giving my ex final say (they have sole custody). There are significant health events that I knew nothing about until doing health record searches using my court order. Events involving a half dozen specialists - but not me because my ex decided not to inform me. There were significant medical tests done on D6 that I was never informed of, and I found out I may have been putting D6 at risk with activities we did (swimming) because of my lack of knowledge of these "issues" going on behind the scenes.

Yes, there is a lot more going on in my case that I choose not to share, and distracts from the questions I am trying to get answers for.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ByMyself View Post
Through CAS documents, I have discovered the existence of some reports from hospitals, when D10 was admitted overnight for mental health issues. I am trying to get these reports, but doctor in charge is not releasing, nor giving reasons for not releasing.
If the admissions were done at a hospital just deal with the hospital directly at the records department. The doctor is on staff to the hospital and it is the hospital, not the doctor, that would release the records for the admissions generally.

In the event that any doctor is refusing the release of the medical records and you do have a signed agreement and/or court order you are advised to make the request directly to that clinician's college. (This would be the College of Physician's and Surgeons for Medical Doctors including psychiatrists and other colleges for other clinicians.)

You will need to provide a true copy of the order or agreement. Give the College a call and see what needs to be done. They will explain the situation, validate the agreement/order and provide further instruction to the clinician about the records release.

Some things to read about "medical records" and the college:

Medical Records | Policy | Policies & Publications | College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

Quote:
Patients have a right of access to their personal health information that is in the custody or under the control of a HIC, including any information that has been stamped or indicated as confidential, unless an exception applies. Physicians should consult section 52 of PHIPA for a comprehensive list of such exceptions and should seek the guidance of the CMPA or their legal counsel if unsure about how to respond to a request for access.

Physicians cannot refuse to grant a patient access to their records for the purpose of avoiding a legal proceeding.

If a physician has refused a patient access to his or her record, the patient is entitled to make a complaint to the IPC under subsection 54(8) of PHIPA.
The challenge is that the clinician is not notifying you for what reason the refusal is being made so it is hard to bring a complaint under subsection 54(8) of PHIPA.

Contact the college: Home | College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByMyself View Post
TMy ex has not disclosed any of these Dr. visits to me, contrary to our court order.
You gave up the responsibility, as admitted to in this thread, of being a parent by forfiting your access as a parent due to a medical reason for the child in question. The same argument will be used against you for custody. That you relinquished, along with your access to the child, your custody in accordance with what is set forth in the CLRA.

It was a tremendous mistake to give up your duties as a parent to this child.

The court isn't going to care about what the other parent didn't provide you. If you have access to the information, are not restrained from attending at the hospital etc... They are not going to say much. A child of 10 years old if going on consistent access visits would TELL YOU this information and you could follow up in the immediate... Not at a later date when trying to "build a case".

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByMyself View Post
TThe information in these reports sounds like it will help cast serious doubt as to the allegations, contrary to the position that my ex has taken (which is that their allegations are 100% fact).
What you "beileve" and what is the "truth" are probably worlds apart. What I do know to be the "truth" is that you have abandoned the access responsibilities to this child. That was a mistake. Unless a court ordered otherwise and/or a medical tribunal asserted that it was a detriment to the child in question's health... you should have NEVER given up your access time with the child.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByMyself View Post
As well, the therapist I am using to start supervised/ therapeutic access with D10, has agreed this information would likely be helpful, and has asked that I make available any information of this nature that I can get access to.
If this "therapist" is engaged by court order or agreement to treat the child they have the responsibility to notify the clinicians of their involvement in the child in questions "circle of care" and to request copies. It is NOT your job to get the records. This sounds fishy to me as 99% of clinicians know this little simple fact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByMyself View Post
Does anyone know how the process works, as a NCP, for gaining access to psych records for a minor child?
You stated you have an agreement granting you access to the medical records. That agreement is what you go on. You have as much right as a "custodial parent" in terms of access to the medical records by agreement (based on your statement).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByMyself View Post
Would the CP have access to this?
As much access as you have by agreement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByMyself View Post
When D10 goes into the hospital overnight, the doctors would surely share some information with the CP - I just want to know what the CP knows. And the CP is not sharing with me, despite requests.
Why do you care what the other parent knows? They are NOT a doctor. So, you are best to go to the PROFESSIONALS to get the information you are requesting and not to worry about the other parent, what they know, etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByMyself View Post
I am contemplating trying to get the ex to sign consents specifically allowing the doctors involve to share information equally with me, at the same level of sharing as with my ex. I doubt it will fly, but I will try first.
You stated you had this by agreement already?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByMyself View Post
Any other ideas of how to get this information? Or am I even entitled to it?
1. Resume access to the child in question.
2. Retain a lawyer.
3. Consult with this lawyer.
4. Do what this lawyer recommends.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:23 PM
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If in fact your court order states you have access to medical records do the following.

Step 1: Go to the medical facility with your original stamped/signed court order and ask that you see the records. Go to the doctor, if he/she refuses, go one level higher, if they refuse, another level higher etc. etc. If refused see step 2

Step 2: Send a registered letter to the doctor/records department/legal department in question requesting access to the medical records. Include a copy of the court order. Give them 2 weeks to respond. No response see step 3

Step 3: Following that get your lawyer to do the same thing and say legal action will be taken if the records are not provided. Give them 2 more weeks to respond. No response see step 4

Step 4: File a request with the courts for the medical records.

Email is not going to get you anywhere.

EDIT: Or what Tayken said and posted after I started this reply.

Last edited by FB_; 01-16-2014 at 01:26 PM.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:23 PM
smileandwalkaway smileandwalkaway is offline
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As others have stated. I'd go straight to the medical facility in question and find out specifically from them what they need from you to disclose this information. Just be advised that you may not be granted access to everything that you want. Your child, even though a minor, has the right of confidentiality.

I suggest zero contact with your ex in your efforts to obtain medical info. This is between you and the medical facility.
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Old 01-16-2014, 01:43 PM
ByMyself ByMyself is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smileandwalkaway View Post
As others have stated. I'd go straight to the medical facility in question and find out specifically from them what they need from you to disclose this information. Just be advised that you may not be granted access to everything that you want. Your child, even though a minor, has the right of confidentiality.

I suggest zero contact with your ex in your efforts to obtain medical info. This is between you and the medical facility.
Once I became aware of the existence of some of this medical information (in obtaining disclosure from CAS), I began the process to obtain these records.

I did go straight to the hospitals, and filled out the paperwork allowing the hospital to release this information directly to me. I provided them with certified copies of the final divorce order. I paid the fees, and waited the amount of time they requested.

Once the waiting period had ended, I began following up with calls. I was informed that two doctors specifically were holding up the production of the records. I attempted to contact these doctors by email, because it is what was suggested by staff at the hospital health records department, as a way to find out what the doctors' concerns were.

The issue I have is that nobody is communicating with me why they will not share the records. If it is a confidentiality issue, I can understand it to a degree. I can, and intend to, keep pushing for the information.

My question was more originally to find out any other ways to get to the information, and if I even have the right to get access to it.
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