(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section:
(1) The files, records, findings, opinions, recommendations, evaluations, and reports of a peer review body, information provided to or obtained by a peer review body, the identity of persons providing information to a peer review body, and reports or information provided pursuant to § 44-802 or federal or other District of Columbia law shall be confidential and shall be neither discoverable nor admissible into evidence in any civil, criminal, legislative, or administrative proceeding. Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude use of reports or information provided under § 44-802 or federal or other District of Columbia law by a board regulating a health profession or the Mayor in proceedings by the board or the Mayor.
(2) No person who participated in the proceedings of or provided information to a peer review body shall be compelled to testify or give discovery in any civil, criminal, legislative, or administrative proceeding relating to any matter presented or discussed at those proceedings, or any information provided to or obtained by any reports, records, opinion, evaluation, finding, or recommendation of the body or its members.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, a court may order a peer review body to provide information in a criminal proceeding in which a health professional is accused of a felony, if the court determines that disclosure is essential to protect the public interest and that the information being sought can be obtained from no other source. In determining whether disclosure is essential to protect the public interest, the court shall consider the seriousness of the offense with which the health professional is charged, the need for disclosure of the party seeking it, and the probative value of the information. If the court orders disclosure, the identity of any patient shall not be disclosed without the consent of the patient or his legal representative, and the information disclosed shall not be used except in the criminal proceeding.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, primary health records and other information, documents, or records available from original sources shall not be deemed nondiscoverable or inadmissible merely because they are a part of the files, records, or reports of a peer review body.
(c) This section shall not affect the right of any health professional to discover or to have admitted into evidence the minutes and reports of a peer review body concerning the health professional for the limited purpose of adjudicating the appropriateness of an adverse action affecting the employment, membership, privileges, or association of the health professional by the peer review body.
1981 Ed., § 32-505.
1973 Ed., § 32-365.