Grafilo v. Soorani
Grafilo v. Soorani (California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, Oct. 2, 2019): The California Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s order compelling a psychiatrist to produce 6 patient medical records to the state medical board as part of its investigation into whether he was overprescribing controlled substances. The board had issued a subpoena for the records, but the psychiatrist refused to comply, asserting psychotherapist-patient privilege and the right to privacy under the California Constitution art. I, § 1. The appellate court held that to overcome a psychiatric patient’s constitutional right to privacy, the board must demonstrate a compelling interest in the records and show good cause. It rejected the psychiatrist’s arguments that the board had not made the required good cause showing. The court concluded that: (1) the board established the absence of less intrusive means, including only requesting the records that supported the psychiatrist’s rationale for writing the contested prescriptions; (2) the trial court did not abuse its discretion in relying on the declaration of the state’s medical consultant; and (3) the medical consultant’s detailed report provided support for the trial court’s finding of sufficient evidence of good cause. Read the decision here.
View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – January 15, 2020.