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  1. #1
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    Default What to Do if Somebody Performs a Paternity Test on Your Child Without Permission

    My question involves paternity law for the State of: Texas

    I left my son with the fathers mother (who is a RN of a local major hospital) she took a cheek swab from my child (without either parent knowing or authorizing) and took hair out of her sons hair brush (without him knowing). Then had a DNA test performed without signed consent. Is this legal, what are the consequences for the RN abusing her position and violating patient privacy.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Grandmother is RN Performs Un-Authorized Paternity Test is This Legal

    Was the test done in a lab or was it done with one of those home test kits?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Grandmother is RN Performs Un-Authorized Paternity Test is This Legal

    Quote Quoting ebambam09
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    My question involves paternity law for the State of: Texas

    I left my son with the fathers mother (who is a RN of a local major hospital) she took a cheek swab from my child (without either parent knowing or authorizing) and took hair out of her sons hair brush (without him knowing). Then had a DNA test performed without signed consent. Is this legal, what are the consequences for the RN abusing her position and violating patient privacy.
    There is no “violation of patient privacy” here. No federal or state privacy law covers this. The only legal issue that I see is possibly taking the swab from the cheek without either parent’s consent. But all that does is potentially make her technically liable for battery, though I doubt any prosecutor would touch it.

    And frankly, this really has nothing to do with her being a RN. Anybody could do the same thing — gather the samples and have some lab run a DNA test — they need not be a doctor or nurse. Note that the results of the test probably would not be admissible in court, but certainly the test results could be used by the putative father to decide how he wants to proceed if it turns out that he is not, in fact, the child’s biological father. If there’s no chance that someone else is the biological father, I see nothing here for you to worry about.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Grandmother is RN Performs Un-Authorized Paternity Test is This Legal

    I respectfully disagree.

    There is plenty wrong with the actions of Grandma, and no matter what result came back it does not excuse the act.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Grandmother is RN Performs Un-Authorized Paternity Test is This Legal

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
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    I respectfully disagree.

    There is plenty wrong with the actions of Grandma, and no matter what result came back it does not excuse the act.
    I would certainly not be giving grandma any more alone time with the child.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Grandmother is RN Performs Un-Authorized Paternity Test is This Legal

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
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    I respectfully disagree.

    There is plenty wrong with the actions of Grandma, and no matter what result came back it does not excuse the act.
    I agree with you. Nurses have legal and ethical obligations far and above the average citizen on the street. She can be reported to her state Board of Nursing.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Grandmother is RN Performs Un-Authorized Paternity Test is This Legal

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
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    I respectfully disagree.

    There is plenty wrong with the actions of Grandma, and no matter what result came back it does not excuse the act.
    I was addressing only the legal issues, not the moral ones. That is, after all, the primary purpose of these boards. If you can point to other legal problems with the grandmother’s behavior here, beyond the potential battery I identified, I’d be interested to hear what those are.

    The grandmother’s actions were certainly sneaky, and understandly that will rub a lot of people the wrong way. But that’s quite a different issue from what the law addresses. We all know, I think, that much of unethical, distasteful, rude or other objectionable behavior is simply not regulated by the law.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Grandmother is RN Performs Un-Authorized Paternity Test is This Legal

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    I was addressing only the legal issues, not the moral ones. That is, after all, the primary purpose of these boards. If you can point to other legal problems with the grandmother’s behavior here, beyond the potential battery I identified, I’d be interested to hear what those are.

    The grandmother’s actions were certainly sneaky, and understandly that will rub a lot of people the wrong way. But that’s quite a different issue from what the law addresses. We all know, I think, that much of unethical, distasteful, rude or other objectionable behavior is simply not regulated by the law.
    Her behavior may violate Board of Nursing ethics rules. Nurses and other medical professionals are bound to ethical behavior even when off the job and off the clock. A complaint may lead to disciplinary action (after an investigation). Or, could lead to nothing but this is not someone I'd want around my child, that's for sure. And I have to wonder about her behavior regarding the privacy of her patients.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Grandmother is RN Performs Un-Authorized Paternity Test is This Legal

    Quote Quoting geek
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    I agree with you. Nurses have legal and ethical obligations far and above the average citizen on the street. She can be reported to her state Board of Nursing.
    I’d be interested in which of the Texas Standards of Nursing Practice, specifically, you think was violated here? Just because someone is a doctor, nurse, or lawyer doesn’t mean that everything they do in life is subject to the rules of their profession and subject to discipline, after all. She can be reported to the agency that regulates nurses but I rather think that nothing would come of it here as I don't see anything in this situation that is an obvious violation of the rules. This is more of a family problem than a professional nursing one. She is the child’s grandmother and the child was left in her care by the parents. She is thus in loco parentis and she can do much of what the parents may do.

    I’m not trying to be argumentative here. I understand why people have a negative reaction to what she did. But there sometimes seems to be a tendancy, particularly by nonlawyers, to believe that an act which othe person thinks is morally wrong must also be illegal or violate some rule or regulation. That, of course, is not always the case.


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    Quote Quoting geek
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    And I have to wonder about her behavior regarding the privacy of her patients.
    How does this in any way implicate how she treats the privacy of her patients? This is not a situation involving patient’s protected health information (PHI). This is a family situation in which a grandmother is attempting to find out if the putative father is really the biological father of the child. There is no disclosure of patient PHI here and nothing that suggests she’d do such a thing while carrying out her nursing duties. You are projecting your distaste at her actions in this situation to conclude that she’d possibly do other things wrong too. That is not a logical leap to make.

  10. #10
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    Aug 2015
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    Default Re: Grandmother is RN Performs Un-Authorized Paternity Test is This Legal

    Taxing, you are correct. you can report her to TDSHS and they won't do a single thing cept go oh well. OH and there is no such thing as battery in Texas so that is a dead end too

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