2011 Connecticut Code
Title 52 Civil Actions
Chapter 899 Evidence
Sec. 52-146d. (Formerly Sec. 52-146a). Privileged communications between psychiatrist and patient. Definitions.

      Sec. 52-146d. (Formerly Sec. 52-146a). Privileged communications between psychiatrist and patient. Definitions. As used in sections 52-146d to 52-146i, inclusive:

      (1) "Authorized representative" means (A) a person empowered by a patient to assert the confidentiality of communications or records which are privileged under sections 52-146c to 52-146i, inclusive, or (B) if a patient is deceased, his personal representative or next of kin, or (C) if a patient is incompetent to assert or waive his privileges hereunder, (i) a guardian or conservator who has been or is appointed to act for the patient, or (ii) for the purpose of maintaining confidentiality until a guardian or conservator is appointed, the patient's nearest relative;

      (2) "Communications and records" means all oral and written communications and records thereof relating to diagnosis or treatment of a patient's mental condition between the patient and a psychiatrist, or between a member of the patient's family and a psychiatrist, or between any of such persons and a person participating under the supervision of a psychiatrist in the accomplishment of the objectives of diagnosis and treatment, wherever made, including communications and records which occur in or are prepared at a mental health facility;

      (3) "Consent" means consent given in writing by the patient or his authorized representative;

      (4) "Identifiable" and "identify a patient" refer to communications and records which contain (A) names or other descriptive data from which a person acquainted with the patient might reasonably recognize the patient as the person referred to, or (B) codes or numbers which are in general use outside of the mental health facility which prepared the communications and records;

      (5) "Mental health facility" includes any hospital, clinic, ward, psychiatrist's office or other facility, public or private, which provides inpatient or outpatient service, in whole or in part, relating to the diagnosis or treatment of a patient's mental condition;

      (6) "Patient" means a person who communicates with or is treated by a psychiatrist in diagnosis or treatment;

      (7) "Psychiatrist" means a person licensed to practice medicine who devotes a substantial portion of his time to the practice of psychiatry, or a person reasonably believed by the patient to be so qualified.

      (1961, P.A. 529; 1969, P.A. 819, S. 1; P.A. 75-567, S. 36, 80; P.A. 82-160, S. 64; P.A. 89-154, S. 2.)

      History: 1969 act deleted detailed provisions re privileged communications (but see Sec. 52-146e for replacement provisions) and added definitions of "consent", "communications and records", "mental health facility" and records which "identify" or are "identifiable"; Sec. 52-146a transferred to Sec. 52-146d in the 1969 Supplement to the General Statutes; P.A. 75-567 applied definitions to Secs. "52-146c to 52-146i" rather than to Secs. "52-146d to 52-146j"; P.A. 82-160 alphabetized the defined terms and inserted Subdiv. indicators; P.A. 89-154 applied definitions to Secs. "52-146d to 52-146i" rather than to Secs. "52-146c to 52-146i".

      Case decided before effective date of statute. 150 C. 689. Cited. 152 C. 510, 512. Psychiatrist-patient privilege does not extend to records relative to drug-dependency treatment. 169 C. 223. Psychiatric-patient privilege not waived and testimony of psychiatrist hired by state, but not as a result of court order, held inadmissible. 178 C. 626. Cited. 191 C. 453. Cited. 199 C. 693. Cited. 201 C. 211. Cited. 203 C. 641. Cited. 208 C. 365; Id., 683. Cited. 211 C. 555. Cited. 212 C. 50. Cited. 217 C. 243. Cited. 218 C. 85. Cited. 225 C. 700; Id., 450. Cited. 228 C. 1. Cited. 235 C. 185. Former Sec. 52-146a cited. Id., 185. Cited. 236 C. 625. Cited. 238 C. 313. Statute reflects public policy against suit by patient's former spouse. 250 C. 86. Evidence of conversation between defendant and third party overheard by mental health worker not protected by the privilege provided for under section. 254 C. 694.

      Cited. 1 CA 384. Secs. 52-146d-52-146j cited. 14 CA 552. Cited. 19 CA 304. Cited. 24 CA 287. Cited. 25 CA 653; judgment reversed, see 223 C. 52. Cited. 30 CA 839. Cited. 33 CA 647. Cited. 35 CA 94; judgment reversed, see 235 C. 185. Nursing assessment containing consent form in which defendant consented to "mental health assessment and treatment" and conducted by nurse under supervision of psychiatrist is a mental health record that is privileged under Secs. 52-146d to 52-146f, inclusive. 73 CA 150.

      Cited. 28 CS 57.

      Subdiv. (2):

      Cited. 190 C. 813.

      Cited. 33 CA 253. Communications and records relating to diagnosis and treatment of an alcohol-related disorder falls within ambit of a "mental condition". Phrase "including communications and records which occur in or are prepared at a mental health facility" interpreted as an illustrative application of phrase "wherever made", not as a limitation on its scope; therefore trial court improperly concluded that plaintiff was required to establish that Elan, a treatment facility located in Maine, was a mental health facility as defined in Subdiv. (5) as a condition precedent to invocation of the statutory psychiatrist-patient privilege. 54 CA 663.

      Subdiv. (4):

      Cited. 223 C. 450.

      Subdiv. (6):

      Purpose of the statutory privilege is to protect a therapeutic relationship, communications that bear no relationship to the purpose for which privilege was enacted are admissible subject to normal rules of evidence. 190 C. 813.

      Subdiv. (7):

      Cited. 219 C. 314.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Connecticut may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.