Legal Question in Criminal Law in New York

Withholding information in a case

The Hippa Law covers confidentiality between the client and professional and the information being shared. However, moral issues prompt the following question: When a teenage client, states that she is falsely accusing someone of raping her and the accused is arrested, what are my legal and moral obligations? What if the supervisors are not supportive of my sharing this information with the appropriate law enforcement agency? What protects my job if I choose to do this regardless of my supervisors directives? I feel a moral obligation to disclose this information and protecting someone from being wrongfully being prosecuted and possibly convicted! Could you tell me what laws I am abiding by and what laws will protect me.

Asked on 4/22/07, 1:43 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Anthony Colleluori The Law Offices of Anthony J. Colleluori & Associates PLLC

Re: Withholding information in a case

I agree with Mr. Hoyt, you need to get a lawyer.

You do not state if you are her doctor or if you were someone she is treating with. Depending on where she said what she said and when (and to whom), she may not be entitled to HIPPA protection.

For example if you are the billing clerk and she said this to you after her appointment as she was paying you, it is not part of her treatment, and I do not think you would run afoul of the law. By the way, no court has held that a person has a private right of action based on HIPPA.

Either way, this is an important issue and you should not rely on my position, you need the help of a lawyer who can ask you the right questions. If you wish to discuss this very serious matter, you should feel free to contact me.

Good Luck.

Read more
Answered on 4/22/07, 11:48 pm

Christopher Hoyt The Law Offices of Christopher W. Hoyt

Re: Withholding information in a case

In a situation like this you are best served by retaining an attorney to properly advise you before taking the next step. Many laws regarding confidentiality have exceptions for when the harm is continuing to occur. Please feel free to contact my office if we can be of assistance to you.

Read more
Answered on 4/22/07, 6:58 pm

Related Questions & Answers

More Criminal Law questions and answers in New York