WNY Lawmakers Push SAFE Act Changes on Medical Records

6:43 PM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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Buffalo, NY - Two state lawmakers from Western New York have introduced a measure to specifically stop any release or access to medical records under the SAFE Act.

WEB EXTRAClick here to read the bill (http://bit.ly/1719Rf1)

This follows the case of an Amherst man and his attorney who claim he was ordered to surrender his weapons to police after someone checked information about his medication and records.

The bills introduced by State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer and Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak would prevent the access to such information without a warrant or the authorization of the patient. It specifically mentions the state police, state division of criminal justice services and covers other law enforcement agencies or their employees.

State police say the case of David Lewis was a matter of mistaken identity when he was told to turn over his registered guns. The weapons were later returned to him.

State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico told Channel 2's Dave McKinley that police did not have access to Lewis' records and that they simply got a referral in that case from a mental health professional under the SAFE Act provisions.  

Both Gabryszak and Ranzenhofer voted against the SAFE Act but feel their measures on health records are crucial if it survives a repeal challenge in the legislature or any court challenges. 

A representative of the James Tresmond law firm tells 2 On Your Side that they will soon file a federal lawsuit against state officials on behalf of David Lewis. They also have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the overall SAFE Act.         

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