In an emergency, a person may not be able to tell care providers or companions about their complete medical history, and a suitable next of kin may not be available to make lifesaving decisions. This is why many businesses or organizations will require a medical release form before allowing and adult or minor to participation an activity. This will protect the organization as well as the person who gets sick, assuring that there is proper information to help with treatment, and permissions have been properly secured.

This page has several medical release form templates available. Read further if you need more information on how to use them.


Medical Release Form

Using a Medical Release Form for Minors on Trips, etc.

If you are hosting an event, taking a field trip or otherwise put in charge of minor children in the course of your job, you’ll want to have the proper permissions on file in case of an emergency. In most cases, when a child will be joining an athletic event or competition, they will be sent home with a medical release form as part of the information package. This is an especially important item for the adults in charge to have, in case of an accident, illness or other medical emergency. Without a medical release form, the people caring for your child may not be able to seek medical treatment on his or her behalf.

A medical release form document can be used to get consent for the people in charge to submit your child for an immediate medical treatment on any hospital or medical practitioner closest to where the event is taking place. The medical release will often specify that the signer is giving authority to take their child to conduct lab testing, emergency surgery or other major operations and life-saving measures. This will help doctors work more quickly in the case of an emergency. We have several templates for you to write a medial release form available on this page.


What Will a Medical Release Form For Minors Contain?

A medical release form for minors participating in an event will usually include the basic medical history of a child, the name of the family doctor, including his or her contact information. Insurance information should also be requested, as well as all contact information for his or her parents or guardians. The medical history data should be requested, especially any allergies or preexisting condition such as asthma, and information on what, if any, medications the child is taking.

If the event or trip that the minor is taking is a multi-day trip, or the children will cross state lines, it may be worth it to have your medical release forms officially notarized. Long-term trips, such as athletic competitions, will often land your group in unfamiliar territory, especially when it comes to state law. Getting the form notarized may add a bit of hassle, but it can help serve as an official document in case of emergency.  You will want to make sure you have the dates the form is for (the beginning and end of the trip) included in the medical consent form.

What Types of Situations Require a Medical Release Form for Children?

  • Church trips
  • Day trips
  • Field trips
  • Athletic competitions
  • Class tours
  • Musical competitions/shows
  • Day camps
  • Overnight camps

Or any other situation where an adult is entrusted to care or minors, and their parents will not be able to pick them up immediately or be present if the child becomes sick or injured.


Using a Medical Release Form

Many times, when one is filing a lawsuit or insurance claim, they will need to provide the parties involved with detailed information about a medical condition in order to make a claim. For example, if you’re injured in a car accident, you will need to provide a medical release form if your car insurance company wants to sue the party at fault for damages. Or, if you had some faulty work done on your deck at home, and you were injured due to your contractor’s negligence, you’ll have to provide evidence to the courts of your injuries.

Medical release forms are also used in criminal cases. They can be used to prove the severity of injuries when a person is assaulted. Speaking with a medical professional about another party always requires permission from the party being discussed. The medical profession has strict privacy guidelines that they must adhere to. This is why it’s vital to make sure that parties in a case provide medical information by using a medical release form.

If you’re an attorney who is representing an injured party, or helping to advocate for a victim, you will need to have the person you’re helping sign a medical records release form. Most medical professionals have their own release, but most law professionals prefer to use their own forms and use their own fine print. The basic form will contain your client’s name, date of birth, and other information. It will then state the specific information the lawyer needs access to, for example, “All Doctor Visits Between the first of January, 2015 and March 1, 2016” or  “All medical files pertaining to ruptured disk.” You won’t need your client’s entire medical history.  You’ll want to collect all of the details from the person making the disclosure, too. For example, his or her full name, title, specialization (if any) and the name and address of the hospital or practice they work for.

Here are the kinds of court cases that may require medical information to be released:

  • Personal injury cases: When suing for an injury where you are not at fault, you are required to prove the extent of your injuries by having accurate, complete medical information documenting your injury for the court. Even “emotional suffering” claims need to be backed by solid proof of the injury. This means that you will want some information – but not necessarily ALL – from your therapeutic professionals to be available to the court. By adapting a medical release form, you can specify which information you want attorneys to be able to access for the purposes of your court case. For example, if you are injured in a car accident, and the accident is the fault of the other driver, they will probably be liable for your hospital bills. First, however, you usually need to prove to their insurance company or the court that the condition was caused or exacerbated by the accident. You’ll want to have a doctor evaluate you. Keep a medical paper trail that can easily be accessed by the court system. If you see an emergency room doctor, who then sends you to follow up with a specialist, you’ll want each of these steps documented. Use a medical release form to document all of the doctor visits from the first moment of injury to your current condition.
  • Custody cases: If a child involved in a custody case has an illness or injury that is relevant to who is caretaking, the parent or guardian will have to fill out a medical release form to make sure that the attorney and courts have access to the information they need to make a decision. Often, a party to a divorce will make claims about a child emotional well being in respect to the other party. By giving doctors, therapists and others permission to discuss your child’s condition, you’ll be adding vital information to help your judge make a decisions.
  • Worker’s compensation cases: Worker’s compensation cases are tricky, and often an employer will dispute them in court unless you have adequate medical information and a diagnosis that clearly lays the blame at your employer’s feet. A medical release form can help you gather a paper trail from the first symptom or problem to your current condition today. When requesting a release of medical records, you’ll want to make sure that you speak to the doctor and they understand you need your condition thoroughly documented for the courts. You can use your own medical information release form or you can use the one provided by your doctor’s office. 
  • Criminal cases: If you’re the victim of a crime, almost any injury, whether physical or mental, is considered to be the fault of the perpetrator. When it comes to sentencing, or your time to speak out at trial and give a “victim’s impact statement”, you can present the court with records that help state your case. The severity of the impact on the victim helps the judge and jury make several decisions about the case. You may also be eligible for victim’s compensation if your injuries are long-term and costly. Check with your local courts to find out if they have a program like this for crime victims.

Using a Medical Release to Help a Loved One Who Is Sick

Some family members who have a loved one in the throes of a physical illness, mental illness or addiction want to help their relatives as best they can. Usually, this means being an advocate for their loved one. It’s difficult to advocate for somebody if you don’t have access to his or her medical information due to privacy laws. Unforutnately, some people have illnesses that make them combative or resistant when they’re experiencing an episode. One example of this would be bipolar disorder, which can give sufferers a manic episode that causes them delusions or paranoia. They may trust you every day of the week, but while under the influence of a manic episode, they may be too paranoid or deluded to listed to you. This is why you must have the medical information release form filled out when they are coherent and able to agree to it.

While some attorney may suggest you try to get power of attorney over a relative, a Medical Information Release form is easier to work with and usually accepted by most organizations as a legitimate document that allows them to give you information. This could be very important if the person you are trying to help is incoherent, such as having a psychotic or manic episode. It’s also important if the person is ill and often not conscious or capable of understanding their medical information. Get a medical release form template now to help your loved one so you can talk to doctors when they’re experiencing difficulty understanding their illness or treatment options.

If your loved one is a minor, they still have a right to privacy under HIPPA laws. This means that parents who are managing their child or teen’s care will still need a medical release form to get permission from their child. This form will allow you to get vital information from doctors that they may have otherwise withheld, for example, if your child has an STD or illness that comes from drug usage, the doctor will not be able to disclose this to you if there is no medical release form on record.

Without a medical release form that’s been signed and completed, you will not be able to discuss your loved one’s condition with their doctor, psychiatrist, therapists, etc. over the phone, no matter how many times you call, email, or leave messages.  If, in the future, it’s necessary for your loved one with a mental illness to go to the hospital, a signed Medical Release Form will give you the tools you need to admit a person with their doctor’s help.

You can get a release of medical information template form on this page and adapt it to your needs.


Using a Release of Medical Information Form for New Doctor Visits

Sometimes, when you’re faced with medical challenges, you may find that things are not working out with your doctor. Or maybe you find that you face some unpleasant choices and you want to seek a second medical opinion on your case.

Collecting your medical records doesn’t have to be difficult. Many people will create their own medical release form, sign and date it and mail it to a hospital they have visited. You can choose to have the medical records sent to yourself or directly to your new practitioner. You will need a Release of Medical Information form sent to every healthcare provider you have seen for your particular condition.

Many people with complicated health problems have to be their own detectives, gathering information from various health providers and then taking them to a specialist. Use a medical release form to request information from all of your doctors, and have them send you, as well as your new doctor, a copy of all of your medical records.


Download a Medical Release Form Template

As you can see, there are a myriad of uses for a medical release form. We have a few examples for you to download and adapt to your own purposes. Make sure that you  use proper dates when you customize it so that the information is as complete and thorough as possible.

TemplateLab February 1st, 2020