The following opinion is presented on-line for informational use only and does not replace the official version. (Mich Dept of Attorney General Web Site -



Opinion No. 5446

February 23, 1979


Access to medical records by the child's attorney


Access to medical records of client


Access to medical records under Child Protection Law

Pursuant to the Child Protection Law, even in the absence of a parental waiver, a hospital must allow access to medical records of a child under protective service investigation by an attorney appointed to represent the child.

Honorable Michael O'Brien

State Senator

The Capitol

Lansing, Michigan

Dear Senator O'Brien:

You have requested my opinion on the following question involving the Child Protection Law, 1975 PA 238; MCLA 722.621 et seq; MSA 25.248(1) et seq:

Does the Child Protection Law require hospitals to release medical records to the child's attorney without parental consent or a court order?

OAG, 1977-1978, No 5406, p ___ (December 15, 1978) concluded that a hospital is required, absent a parental release, to allow access to medical records of a child under protective service investigation to Social Services staff conducting investigations under the Child Protective Law and that allowing such access does not violate the physician-patient privilege.

1975 PA 238, supra, Sec. 10 provides:

The court, in every case filed under this act in which judicial proceedings are necessary, shall appoint legal counsel to represent the child. The legal counsel, in general, shall be charged with the representation of the child's best interests. To that end, the attorney shall make further investigation as he deems necessary to ascertain the facts, interview witnesses, examine witnesses in both the adjudicatory and dispositional hearings, make recommendations to the court, and participate in the proceedings to competently represent the child.

Thus investigations conducted by the child's attorney appointed by the court to represent the child in abuse and neglect proceedings is entitled to receive the medical records of the child.

Frank J. Kelley

Attorney General