September 2019

Police can now request health records in urgent missing persons cases

As of July 1, 2019, the police can make an urgent request for the personal health records of a missing person.

A police officer can make this request if there are reasonable grounds to believe the missing person’s safety is at risk and their health records will assist in locating them. This new law under the Missing Persons Act applies in situations where no criminal activity is suspected and the missing person has not been in contact with people they would normally have been in contact with.

The request must be approved by a judge or justice of the peace and must specify the information needed.

If you have questions about disclosing information to the police or how this new law applies to your practice, consult with your employer.

To learn more about your accountabilities to safeguard a patient’s personal health information, see the Confidentiality and Privacy—Personal Health Information practice standard.

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