If a parent has to consent for their child to receive a medical procedure or test, then they should be able to access the resulting records and results. That’s the idea behind legislation filed by State Senator Steve McClure (R-Springfield) and sponsored by Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer. That legislation has now been signed into law.
“Parents shouldn’t need to go to court just to get access to records from medical services that they had to consent to be performed in the first place,” said Senator McClure. “This is a particularly important issue for the parents of special needs children, and I’m glad we were able to get this passed into law.”
Under prior Illinois law, parents have access to medical records for children under the age of 12. However, they may be denied access to records and test results for children 12 -17 years of age, even if the records are from tests and/or procedures that required parental consent to be performed. Once the child turns 18, if they are declared a developmentally disabled adult, parents can once again get access.
McClure’s legislation, Senate Bill 188, closes the loophole for special needs children aged 12 – 17.
Deborah Gossrow, a parent of a special needs child, brought the issue to McClure. Gossrow had to hire a lawyer and file a petition requesting access to obtain lab results for her child.
“This Bill will put in place an exception for children with special needs while in the care of the parent or guardian. It will also address the importance of access should I pre-decease my child as a widowed single parent, and my child is then placed in my parents’ care as next of kin guardians. It will help eliminate challenges or obstacles in continuing my child’s health care needs at an optimal level,” said Deborah Gossrow. “There aren’t enough words to express my gratitude for the Senator’s generosity in agreeing to side with me on creating amendments to which will ultimately secure the goal of recognizing this being in the best interest of both the child and their family in more than one capacity.”
The legislation was signed into law by the Governor on August 4th.