Alice Harris Quoted on Medical Record Access in a Post-Roe World
Nexsen Pruet health care attorney Alice Harris recently offered her insight on medical record access in a post-Roe landscape for Part B News. The article examines what kind of protections are available for providers if they chose not to share medical records with prosecutors seeking evidence that a patient has sought or obtained certain drugs and services after the Dobbs decision.
For example, HHS specifically cites methotrexate as a drug that may be used to end an ectopic pregnancy, which may be interpreted by some pharmacists as illegal, notwithstanding its clinical necessity. “If a pharmacy refuses to fill the prescription because it will halt the growing of cells and end the pregnancy,” the guidance says, “it may be discriminating on the basis of sex.”
If the drug is prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis but the pharmacist withholds under the same reasoning, as Alice V. Harris of the Nexsen Pruet law firm in Columbia, S.C., says she’s seen reported, HHS warns it may be discriminating on the basis of disability.
“The conundrum is that state law may ban certain drugs outright or as a means to induce an abortion, but the failure to fill the same prescription may violate federal law,” Harris says. But note: “While some federal laws may provide a defense during prosecution, the HHS guidance isn’t a bar to state prosecution,” Harris adds. She expects the current conflicts to be worked out in court – and that could take years.
To read the full article, click here.
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