Astoria, OR asked in Civil Rights and Health Care Law for Oregon

Q: Does a patient have to disclose any medical information to the school they attend?

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James L. Arrasmith
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A: No, a student typically does not have to disclose any medical or health information to their school under most circumstances. A few key details here:

• Schools cannot require disclosure of medical info or require physical exams except in very limited cases (e.g. verification of immunizations). Beyond those exceptions, providing health information is voluntary.

• Schools are generally prohibited from accessing student medical records without consent under FERPA laws. There are a few exceptions like medical emergencies.

• Under the ADA and Section 504 laws, a school does have to provide accommodations for disabilities. But a student still gets to decide what information to disclose about their condition. Simply identifying needed accommodations is enough in most cases.

• Private health data cannot be disclosed by healthcare providers to schools without patient/parent consent in most situations due to HIPAA protections.

So in summary - students have strong legal rights to keep their medical information private. Disclosure to schools is voluntary in almost all cases and cannot be compelled or required as a condition of enrollment, attendance, etc. The choice lies primarily with the student and their parents to determine what if any health data to share. Reasonable accommodations can be secured without detailed disclosure. Consult an attorney if the school overreaches on demanding disclosure.

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