What is the law if a friend committed suicide recently and his family wants to obtain his medical records?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What is the law if a friend committed suicide recently and his family wants to obtain his medical records?

About 7 months ago, a friend of mine committed suicide and his anguished family is trying to get his medical records but are having problems because of HIPAA. Is

there any way they can obtain his medical records?

Asked on August 30, 2018 under Malpractice Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your and their loss.  The personal representative of the estate of your friend will have the ability to obtain his medical records.  That reprsentative is the fiduciary of the estate and has the legal obligation to pursue all avenues if there is a suspected malpractice case and thus the right to obtain the records.  Good luck.

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