By:  Haywood                                           S.B. No. 208

                                A BILL TO BE ENTITLED

                                       AN ACT

 1-1     relating to disclosure of certain information regarding certain

 1-2     patients of a physician.


 1-4           SECTION 1.  Section 576.005, Health and Safety Code, is

 1-5     amended to read as follows:

 1-6           Sec. 576.005.  CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS.  [(a)]  Records of

 1-7     a mental health facility that directly or indirectly identify a

 1-8     present, former, or proposed patient are confidential unless

 1-9     disclosure is permitted by other state law.

1-10           [(b)  If a treating physician determines that it is in the

1-11     best interest of a patient under the treating physician's care, the

1-12     treating physician may disclose necessary information that may

1-13     identify the patient, but only to:]

1-14                 [(1)  a law enforcement officer; or]

1-15                 [(2)  the patient's legally authorized representative.]

1-16           [(c)  A disclosure under Subsection (b) may not be made if

1-17     the patient gives contrary written instructions to the treating

1-18     physician.]

1-19           [(d)  For the purposes of this section "legally authorized

1-20     representative" means:]

1-21                 [(1)  a parent or legal guardian if the patient is a

1-22     minor, or a legal guardian if the patient has been adjudicated

1-23     incompetent to manage the patient's personal affairs;]

 2-1                 [(2)  an agent of the patient authorized under a

 2-2     durable power of attorney for health care;]

 2-3                 [(3)  an attorney ad litem appointed for the patient;

 2-4     or]

 2-5                 [(4)  a parent, spouse, adult child, or personal

 2-6     representative if the patient is deceased.]

 2-7           SECTION 2.  This Act takes effect September 1, 1997.

 2-8           SECTION 3.  The importance of this legislation and the

 2-9     crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an

2-10     emergency and an imperative public necessity that the

2-11     constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several

2-12     days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.