California Code, Welfare and Institutions Code - WIC § 5328.1

(a) Upon request of a member of the family of a patient, or other person designated by the patient, a public or private treatment facility shall give the family member or the designee notification of the patient's diagnosis, the prognosis, the medications prescribed, the side effects of medications prescribed, if any, and the progress of the patient, if, after notification of the patient that this information is requested, the patient authorizes its disclosure.  If, when initially informed of the request for notification, the patient is unable to authorize the release of such information, notation of the attempt shall be made into the patient's treatment record, and daily efforts shall be made to secure the patient's consent or refusal of authorization.  However, if a request for information is made by the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of the patient and the patient is unable to authorize the release of such information, the requester shall be given notification of the patient's presence in the facility, except to the extent prohibited by federal law.

(b) Upon the admission of any mental health patient to a 24-hour public or private health facility licensed pursuant to Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code , the facility shall make reasonable attempts to notify the patient's next of kin or any other person designated by the patient, of the patient's admission, unless the patient requests that this information not be provided.  The facility shall make reasonable attempts to notify the patient's next of kin or any other person designated by the patient, of the patient's release, transfer, serious illness, injury, or death only upon request of the family member, unless the patient requests that this information not be provided.  The patient shall be advised by the facility that he or she has the right to request that this information not be provided.

(c) No public or private entity or public or private employee shall be liable for damages caused or alleged to be caused by the release of information or the omission to release information pursuant to this section.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to require photocopying of a patient's medical records in order to satisfy its provisions.


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