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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 4504
Physician, dentist, podiatrist, chiropractor and nurse
Civil Practice Law & Rules (CVP) CHAPTER 8, ARTICLE 45
§ 4504. Physician, dentist, podiatrist, chiropractor and nurse. (a)
Confidential information privileged. Unless the patient waives the
privilege, a person authorized to practice medicine, registered
professional nursing, licensed practical nursing, dentistry, podiatry or
chiropractic shall not be allowed to disclose any information which he
acquired in attending a patient in a professional capacity, and which
was necessary to enable him to act in that capacity. The relationship of
a physician and patient shall exist between a medical corporation, as
defined in article forty-four of the public health law, a professional
service corporation organized under article fifteen of the business
corporation law to practice medicine, a university faculty practice
corporation organized under section fourteen hundred twelve of the
not-for-profit corporation law to practice medicine or dentistry, and
the patients to whom they respectively render professional medical
services.

A patient who, for the purpose of obtaining insurance benefits,
authorizes the disclosure of any such privileged communication to any
person shall not be deemed to have waived the privilege created by this
subdivision. For purposes of this subdivision:

1. "person" shall mean any individual, insurer or agent thereof, peer
review committee, public or private corporation, political subdivision,
government agency, department or bureau of the state, municipality,
industry, co-partnership, association, firm, trust, estate or any other
legal entity whatsoever; and

2. "insurance benefits" shall include payments under a self-insured
plan.

(b) Identification by dentist; crime committed against patient under
sixteen. A dentist shall be required to disclose information necessary
for identification of a patient. A physician, dentist, podiatrist,
chiropractor or nurse shall be required to disclose information
indicating that a patient who is under the age of sixteen years has been
the victim of a crime.

(c) Mental or physical condition of deceased patient. A physician or
nurse shall be required to disclose any information as to the mental or
physical condition of a deceased patient privileged under subdivision
(a), except information which would tend to disgrace the memory of the
decedent, either in the absence of an objection by a party to the
litigation or when the privilege has been waived:

1. by the personal representative, or the surviving spouse, or the
next of kin of the decedent; or

2. in any litigation where the interests of the personal
representative are deemed by the trial judge to be adverse to those of
the estate of the decedent, by any party in interest; or

3. if the validity of the will of the decedent is in question, by the
executor named in the will, or the surviving spouse or any heir-at-law
or any of the next kin or any other party in interest.

(d) Proof of negligence; unauthorized practice of medicine. In any
action for damages for personal injuries or death against a person not
authorized to practice medicine under article 131 of the education law
for any act or acts constituting the practice of medicine, when such act
or acts were a competent producing proximate or contributing cause of
such injuries or death, the fact that such person practiced medicine
without being so authorized shall be deemed prima facie evidence of
negligence.