Texas AG Investigating Hospital for Denying Parental Access to Teen’s Medical Records

The Houston hospital denied access to records of children aged 13-17.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Thursday that he would be investigating a Texas hospital for not allowing parents access to their children’s medical records.
  • Paxton’s office issued a press release explaining it sent a letter accompanying Civil Investigative Demand (CID) to Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System regarding the allegations.
  • “Memorial Hermann appears to be relying on a novel—and incorrect—reading of Texas law as the basis for its policy,” the press release stated. “Attorney General Paxton intends to investigate the nature and application of the health system’s policy, in order to ensure that parental rights are respected and Texas law upheld.”
PAXTON’S LETTER TO THE HOSPITAL:
  • “The Office of the Attorney General has recently received complaints about your hospital’s published policies, which is apparently preventing parents from accessing their children’s medical records once their child attains the age of 13. If true, your policies violate Texas law and harm parents and children,” Paxton’s office said in their letter.
  • “We have attached a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) to this letter to learn more about the nature and purported legal basis of this ‘proxy” policy and any other policies you may have in place regarding parents’ and guardians’ access to minors’ medical records. We look forward to working with you in fully responding to our CID, and in confirming that your policies comply with Texas law.”
  • “While we are greatly troubled by the reports we received regarding this policy, we understand that your hospital does incredible work for Texans who are most in need of medical care. As you know, when a family is in crisis and a child’s life or health is at risk, parents and guardians should have easy access to medical records so they can be adequately informed to make healthcare decisions. We will take all actions necessary to ensure that those parents and guardians continue to have access to their children’s medical records as required by Texas law.”
BACKGROUND:
  • The issue of parental involvement in children’s medical records came up earlier this year when California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed SB 107 into law in October for the purpose of providing protection for children and families seeking “gender-affirming” treatments, American Faith previously reported.
  • The law, which does not specify a minimum age for children to qualify for surgical or medicinal treatment, was touted by Newsom as a win for “parental choice.”