Isn’t it illegal for an employee of a nursing facility to search a totally coherant patient’s personal property without the patient’s permission?

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Isn’t it illegal for an employee of a nursing facility to search a totally coherant patient’s personal property without the patient’s permission?

Isn’t that infringing on a patient’s rights?

Asked on April 7, 2012 under Personal Injury, Utah

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is absolutely imperssible and possibly illegal based on invasion of privacy and possible theft. Even though the nursing facility may be considered a fiduciary, this person should not have an outright right to search the patient's personal property unless there is an issue with illegal medication or other contraband on the premises that can pose a danger to other individual patients living in the facility. At this point it may be prudent to understand that you should have someone review the contracts, policies and other items that are written regarding the facility itself, the contract with the patient and of course, contact the regulatory authority who handles the certification of this type of facility and the licensing of the nurse.


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