My question involves public health law in the State of: Virginia
My friend who I knew since I was much younger called me and said that he was recently admitted to a psychiatric ward of a hospital, and he has been released a few days ago. During his involuntary stay, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and and the doctors said the he suffered an acute psychotic episode. He has not filled his prescription that they gave him for when he was released nor does he need it or intend to fill it. Why? Because prior to his admission, he ingested a variety of psychoactive substances, including datura inoxia seeds. Apparently, his roommate brought him there as he was behaving very bizarrely and was "having a heated argument with thin air".
He was transported to the psych ward, and he was observed. However, he did not admit to taking anything at all, and the doctors simply believed that he was having a "psychotic episode". He was delirious and having conversations with imaginary people that he was seeing as in the room, and they were as real to anyone else in his mind, according to my friend and also his roommate. He regrets this "foolhardy experiment" as he called it, and he certainly has no intention of doing anything similar again and the whole experience scared him. He talked to classmates about the info in the class(es) that he missed, and does not wish to do this again and is glad back to be "back to Earth" as he said. However, he is concerned about how the diagnosis on his record and his stay in the psych ward will affect his job opportunities.
I am imagining that this record will be HIPPA protected. Therefore, there would be no way for an interviewer at a later time to have any idea that he was in the psych ward or his diagnosis. Unless, somehow mental health records are not protected by HIPPA, I can't see how a future employer would ever even know about this incident unless he informed them. There's no central database of medical records, so simply not showing these particular records would likely prevent future employers from seeing them. Thoughts?