S.B. No. 208


Bill Description

Governor Bush signed SB 208 on May 31, 1997. SB 208 becomes effective September 1, 1997.

SB 85 amends Chapter 576 of the Health and Safety Code regarding disclosure of mental health information. The House Public Health Committee Report on SB 208 states:


Discrepancies have arisen in interpreting current law which provides for the confidentiality of mental health records at the request of the person being treated. As a result, treating physicians find it difficult to disclose to parents and legal guardians, certain information needed to make decisions relating to the whereabouts, diagnosis, and treatment of dependent patients.


S.B. 208 clarifies current law to allow a legally authorized representative to obtain necessary mental health records from a treating physician about a mental-health patient.

. . .

SECTION 1. Amends Section 576.005, Health and Safety Code, to establish that records of a mental health facility that identify a patient as specified are confidential unless disclosure is permitted by other state law. Deletes existing Subsections (b) through (d) regarding a treating physician determining what is in the best interest of a patient and legally authorized representatives.

Copyright 1997 by Glenn M. Karisch. This page was last revised on June 16, 1997.