CHAPTER 103

(HB 1002)

Patient communications, waiver of privileged communications
with physician or psychotherapist.


         ENTITLED, An Act to  revise certain provisions regarding the waiver of a patient's privilege on communications with a physician or psychotherapist.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:

     Section  1.  That § 19-13-11 be amended to read as follows:

     19-13-11.   There is no The privilege under §   19-13-7 as to a communication relevant to an issue of the physical, mental, or emotional condition of the patient is waived in any proceeding in which he relies upon the condition as is an element of his the patient's claim or defense or, after the patient's death, in any proceeding in which any party relies upon the condition as an element of his a claim or defense.

     Section  2.  That § 19-2-3 be amended to read as follows:

     19-2-3.   In any action or proceeding or quasi-judicial administrative proceeding, whenever if the physical or mental health of any person is in issue, any privilege under §   19-13-7 shall conclusively be deemed to be is waived at trial or for the purpose of discovery under chapter 15-6 if such action or proceeding is civil in nature. However, the waiver of the privilege shall be narrow in scope, closely tailored to the time period or subject matter of the claim. If any party or the holder of the privileged records objects to the discovery of the privileged communication on the grounds that disclosure of the communication would subject the party to annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense and that the disclosure of the privileged communication is not likely to lead to the discovery of relevant evidence, the court shall conduct an in camera review of the privileged communication to determine whether the communication is discoverable.

     Signed February 16, 2001.

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