Medical Records Sought In HIV Sex Cases
By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. September 19, 2013
New Jersey prosecutors going after people with AIDS or H-I-V who knowingly infect their sexual partners could gain access to medical records to build their cases.
A bill introduced in the New Jersey legislature would allow prosecutors to get medical records via court order while investigating those accused of infecting an unsuspecting partner with HIV.
Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is one of the sponsors of the legislation.
“It sends we hope a very important message to anyone who engage in this type of selfish, irresponsible, and reckless behavior that the prosecution is going to have all the tools that it needs to successfully prosecute the case.”
Since prosecutors would have to convince a judge to get the records, Ciattarelli believes the measure balances the need for evidence with the protection of health privacy.
“If the medical records do not help prove the case, it might be saying there is no case, and therefore the case would not go to trial. That’s all part of the discovery process and everything remains private.”
Senator Kip Bateman says the bill would allow for the appropriate prosecution of an appalling crime that can have life changing and deadly results.
“We had one victim who actually dated the individual for five years, and he never disclosed the information. He was going to the doctor. She thought it was because he had another illness, only to find out that he was HIV positive.”
The bill has not had a hearing yet.