(A) Any information, data, and reports with respect to a case of malignant disease which are furnished to, or procured by, any cancer registry in this state or the department of health shall be confidential and shall be used only for statistical, scientific, and medical research for the purpose of reducing the morbidity or mortality of malignant disease. No physician, dentist, person, or hospital furnishing such information, data, or report to any such cancer registry or the department of health, with respect to a case of malignant disease treated or examined by such physician, dentist, or person, or confined in such hospital, shall by reason of such furnishing be deemed to have violated any confidential relationship, or be held liable in damages to any person, or be held to answer for willful betrayal of a professional confidence within the meaning and intent of section 4731.22 of the Revised Code.
(B) The department of health shall prescribe a release of confidential information form for use under this division.
Information concerning individual cancer patients obtained by the department of health for the Ohio cancer incidence surveillance system is for the confidential use of the department only, except as follows:
(1) The department shall grant to a person involved in a medical research project that meets the standards established by the director of health under section 3701.262 of the Revised Code access to confidential information concerning individual cancer patients if all of the following conditions are met:
(a) The person conducting the research provides written information about the purpose of the research project, the nature of the data to be collected and how the researcher intends to analyze it, the records the researcher seeks to review, and the safeguards the researcher will take to protect the identity of patients whose records the researcher will be reviewing.
(b) In the view of the director of health, the proposed safeguards are adequate to protect the identity of each patient whose records will be reviewed.
(c) An agreement is executed between the department and the researcher that specifies the terms of the researcher's use of the records and prohibits the publication or release of the names of individual cancer patients or any facts tending to lead to the identification of individual cancer patients.
(2) Notwithstanding division (B)(1) of this section, a researcher may, with the approval of the department, use the names of individual cancer patients when requesting additional information for research purposes or soliciting a patient's participation in a research project. If a researcher requests additional information or a cancer patient's participation in a research project, the researcher shall first obtain the oral or written consent of the patient's attending physician. If the consent of the patient's attending physician is obtained, the researcher shall obtain the patient's written consent by having the patient complete a release of confidential information form.
(3) The department may release confidential information concerning individual cancer patients to physicians for diagnostic and treatment purposes if the patient's attending physician gives oral or written consent to the release of the information and the patient gives written consent by completing a release of confidential information form.
(4) The department may release confidential information concerning individual cancer patients to the cancer registry of another state, if the other state has entered into a reciprocal agreement with the department and the agreement provides that the state will comply with this section and that information identifying a patient will not be released to any person without the written consent of the patient.
(C) Nothing in this section prevents the release to any person of epidemiological information that does not identify individual cancer patients.
(D) No person shall fail to comply with the confidentiality requirements of this section.
Effective Date: 11-11-1991