The NC Bar Association and the NCMS Team Up to Answer Your Medical Litigation Questions

The North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Medical Society are pleased to announce the publication of their revised Medico-Legal Guidelines. The guidelines represent decades of cooperation between physicians and lawyers aimed at improving their inter-professional interactions in medical litigation. This relationship dates back to 1956 when the NCMS and the NCBA adopted the original Medico-Legal Code, which has been referred to as the Medico-Legal Guidelines since 1991.

Six substantive revisions have been incorporated into the 2008 Medico-Legal Guidelines, four of which apply to the proper release of mental health, substance abuse or psychotherapy records and notes. A listing of N.C. statutes pertaining to the disclosure of confidential or protected health information has been added, as has a sample court order for trial judges that allows medical providers to release mental health, substance abuse or psychotherapy records pursuant to federal law. The guidelines are not intended to supplant, nor do they supersede, mandatory rules, laws or regulations, such as the Rules for Professional Conduct, the N.C. Rules of Civil Procedure or the N.C. Rules of Evidence. They are provided to help clearly define the responsibilities of physicians and attorneys, thereby promoting inter-professional cooperation and courtesy.

“These guidelines continue to serve a vital role in our efforts to promote collaboration between the North Carolina Medical Society and the North Carolina Bar Association,” said NCBA President Charles Becton. “We are grateful to the NCBA Medico-Legal Liaison Committee for its efforts in sustaining this important relationship between members of the medical community and the bar.”

“The Medico Legal Guidelines provide physicians much needed information concerning appropriate handling of many issues that arise in litigation involving our patients,” NCMS President Albert J. Osbahr, MD, said. “We appreciate the Bar Association’s ongoing commitment to ensuring these Guidelines include updated federal and state laws and other important information.”

Download the Revised Medico-Legal Guidelines now. (PDF)
 
 

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