TITLE 40.1
Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals

CHAPTER 40.1-5
Mental Health Law

SECTION 40.1-5-27.1

§ 40.1-5-27.1. Disclosure by mental health professional.

(a) Notwithstanding §§ 40.1-5-26 and 40.1-5-27, a mental health professional providing care and treatment to an adult person with a mental disability as defined in § 40.1-5-2(8) may provide certain information to a family member or other person if this family member or other person lives with and provides direct care to the mentally disabled person, and without such direct care there would be significant deterioration in the mentally disabled person's daily functioning, and such disclosure would directly assist in the care of the mentally disabled person. Disclosure can be made only at the written request of the family member or person living with the mentally disabled person.

(b) Prior to the disclosure, the mentally disabled person shall be informed, in writing, of the request, the name of the person requesting the information, the reason for the request, and the specific information being provided. Prior to disclosure, the mentally disabled person shall be provided the opportunity to give or withhold consent. If the mentally disabled person withholds consent, the information shall not be disclosed and the family member or other person shall be provided the opportunity to appeal. Disclosures shall be limited to information regarding diagnosis, admission to or discharge from a treatment facility, the name of the medication prescribed, and side effects of prescribed medication.

(c) On or before April 1, 1993, the department of behavioral healthcare, developmental disabilities and hospitals shall promulgate rules and regulations to further define and interpret the provisions of this section. In the development of these rules and regulations, the department shall work with an advisory committee composed, at a minimum, of proportionate representation from the following: the Coalition of Consumer Self Advocates, the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island, the Council of Community Mental Health Centers, the mental health advocate, and Rhode Island Protection and Advocacy Services. Rules and regulations by the department shall include the provision of an appeals process, that would serve to protect the rights of mentally disabled persons under the law.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1992, ch. 256, § 1.)