TRE 101: Title & Scope

TRE 102: Purpose and Construction

TRE 103: Rulings on Evidence

TRE 104: Preliminary Questions

TRE 105: Limited Admissibility

TRE 106: Remainder of Writings or Recorded Statements

TRE 107: Texas Rule of Evidence of Optional Completeness

TRE 201: Judicial Notice of Adjudicative Facts

TRE 202: Determination of Law of Other States

TRE 203: Determination of the Laws of Foreign Countries

TRE 204: Determination of Texas City and County Ordinances…

TRE 401: Definition of “Relevant Evidence”

TRE 402: Relevant Evidence Generally Admissible…

TRE 403: Exclusion of Relevant Evidence on Special Grounds

TRE 404: Character Evidence Not Admissible to Prove…

TRE 405: Methods of Proving Character

TRE 406: Habit; Routine Practice

TRE 407: Subsequent Remedial Measures; Notification of Defect

TRE 408: Compromise and Offers to Compromise

TRE 409: Payment of Medical and Similar Expenses

TRE 410: Inadmissibility of Pleas and Related Statements

TRE 411: Liability Insurance

TRE 412: Evidence of Previous Sexual Conduct in Criminal Cases

TRE 412: Privileges Recognized Only as Provided

TRE 412: Required Reports Privileged by Statute

TRE 412: Lawyer-Client Privileges

TRE 412: Spousal Privileges

TRE 412: Communications to Members of the Clergy

TRE 412: Political Vote

TRE 412: Trade Secrets

TRE 412: Identity of Informer

TRE 501: Physician-Patient Privilege

TRE 502: Confidentiality of Mental Health Information in Civil Cases

TRE 503: Waiver of Privilege by Voluntary Disclosure

TRE 504: Privileged Matter Disclosed Under Compulsion

TRE 505: Comment on or Inference From a Privilege Claim; Instruction

TRE 601: Competency and Incompetency of Witnesses

TRE 602: Lack of Personal Knowledge

TRE 603: Oath or Affirmation

TRE 604: Interpreters

TRE 605: Competency of Judge as a Witness

TRE 606: Competency of Juror as a Witness

TRE 607: Who May Impeach a Witness

TRE 608: Evidence of Character and Conduct of a Witness

TRE 609: Impeachment by Evidence of Conviction of Crime

TRE 610: Religious Beliefs or Opinions

TRE 611: Examining Witnesses and Presenting Evidence

TRE 612: Writing Used to Refresh Memory

TRE 613: Prior Statements of Witnesses: Impeachment and Support

TRE 614: Excluding Witnesses

TRE 615: Producing a Witness’s Statement in Criminal Cases

TRE 701: Opinion Testimony by Lay Witnesses

TRE 702: Testimony by Experts

TRE 703: Bases of Opinion Testimony by Experts

TRE 704: Opinion of Ultimate Issue

TRE 705: Disclosure of Facts or Data Underlying Expert Opinion

TRE 706: Audit in Civil Cases

TRE 801: Definitions; Exclusions from Hearsay

TRE 802: Hearsay Rule

TRE 803: Hearsay Exceptions; Availability of Declarant Immaterial

TRE 804: Hearsay Exceptions; Declarant Unavailable

TRE 805: Hearsay Within Hearsay

TRE 806: Attacking and Supporting Credibility of Declarant

TRE 901: Authenticating or Identifying Evidence

TRE 902: Evidence That Is Self-Authenticating

TRE 903:Subscribing Witness’s Testimony

TRE 1001: Definitions That Apply to This Article

TRE 1002: Requirement of the Original

TRE 1003: Admissibility of Duplicates

TRE 1004: Admissibility of Other Evidence of Content

TRE 1005: Copies of Public Records to Prove Content

TRE 1006: Summaries to Prove Content

TRE 1007: Testimony or Statement of a Party to Prove Content

TRE 1008: Functions of Court and Jury

TRE 1009: Translating a Foreign Language Document


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Rule 509: Physician-Patient Privilege

(a) Definitions. In this rule:

(1) A “patient” is a person who consults or is seen by a physician for medical care.

(2) A “physician” is a person licensed, or who the patient reasonably believes is licensed, to practice medicine in any state or nation.

(3) A communication is “confidential” if not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than those:

(A) present to further the patient’s interest in the consultation, examination, or interview;

(B) reasonably necessary to transmit the communication; or

(C) participating in the diagnosis and treatment under the physician’s direction, including members of the patient’s family.

(b) Limited Privilege in a Criminal Case. There is no physician–patient privilege in a criminal case. But a confidential communication is not admissible in a criminal case if made:

(1) to a person involved in the treatment of or examination for alcohol or drug abuse; and

(2) by a person being treated voluntarily or being examined for admission to treatment for alcohol or drug abuse.

(c) General Rule in a Civil Case. In a civil case, a patient has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing:

(1) a confidential communication between a physician and the patient that relates to or was made in connection with any professional services the physician rendered the patient; and

(2) a record of the patient’s identity, diagnosis, evaluation, or treatment created or maintained by a physician.

(d) Who May Claim in a Civil Case. The privilege may be claimed by:

(1) the patient; or

(2) the patient’s representative on the patient’s behalf.

The physician may claim the privilege on the patient’s behalf—and is presumed to have authority to do so.

(e) Exceptions in a Civil Case. This privilege does not apply:

(1) Proceeding Against Physician. If the communication or record is relevant to a claim or defense in:

(A) a proceeding the patient brings against a physician; or

(B) a license revocation proceeding in which the patient is a complaining witness.

(2) Consent. If the patient or a person authorized to act on the patient’s behalf consents in writing to the release of any privileged information, as provided in subdivision (f).

(3) Action to Collect. In an action to collect a claim for medical services rendered to the patient.

(4) Party Relies on Patient’s Condition. If any party relies on the patient’s physical, mental, or emotional condition as a part of the party’s claim or defense and the communication or record is relevant to that condition.

(5) Disciplinary Investigation or Proceeding. In a disciplinary investigation of or proceeding against a physician under the Medical Practice Act, Tex. Occ. Code § 164.001 et seq., or a registered nurse under Tex. Occ. Code § 301.451 et seq. But the board conducting the investigation or proceeding must protect the identity of any patient whose medical records are examined unless:

(A) the patient’s records would be subject to disclosure under paragraph (e)(1); or

(B) the patient has consented in writing to the release of medical records, as provided in subdivision (f).

(6) Involuntary Civil Commitment or Similar Proceeding. In a proceeding for involuntary civil commitment or court-ordered treatment, or a probable cause hearing under Tex. Health & Safety Code:

(A) chapter 462 (Treatment of Persons With Chemical Dependencies);

(B) title 7, subtitle C (Texas Mental Health Code); or

(C) title 7, subtitle D (Persons With an Intellectual Disability Act).

(7) Abuse or Neglect of “Institution” Resident. In a proceeding regarding the abuse or neglect, or the cause of any abuse or neglect, of a resident of an “institution” as defined in Tex. Health & Safety Code § 242.002.

(f) Consent For Release of Privileged Information.

(1) Consent for the release of privileged information must be in writing and signed by:

(A) the patient;

(B) a parent or legal guardian if the patient is a minor;

(C) a legal guardian if the patient has been adjudicated incompetent to manage personal affairs;

(D) an attorney appointed for the patient under Tex. Health & Safety Code title 7, subtitles C and D;

(E) an attorney ad litem appointed for the patient under Tex. Estates Code title 3, subtitle C;

(F) an attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem appointed for a minor under Tex. Fam. Code chapter 107, subchapter B; or

(G) a personal representative if the patient is deceased.

(2) The consent must specify:

(A) the information or medical records covered by the release;

(B) the reasons or purposes for the release; and

(C) the person to whom the information is to be released.

(3) The patient, or other person authorized to consent, may withdraw consent to the release of any information. But a withdrawal of consent does not affect any information disclosed before the patient or authorized person gave written notice of the withdrawal.

(4) Any person who receives information privileged under this rule may disclose the information only to the extent consistent with the purposes specified in the consent.

Notes and Comments

Comment to 1998 change: This comment is intended to inform the construction and application of this rule. Prior Criminal Rules of Evidence 509 and 510 are now in subparagraph (b) of this Rule. This rule governs disclosures of patient-physician communications only in judicial or administrative proceedings. Whether a physician may or must disclose such communications in other circumstances is governed by TEX. REV. CIV. STAT. ANN. art. 4495b, § 5.08. Former subparagraph (d)(6) of the Civil Evidence Rules, regarding disclosures in a suit affecting the parent-child relationship, is omitted, not because there should be no exception to the privilege in suits affecting the parent-child relationship, but because the exception in such suits is properly considered under subparagraph (d)(4), as construed in R.K. v. Ramirez, 887 S.W.2d 836 (Tex. 1994). In determining the proper application of an exception in such suits, the trial court must ensure that the precise need for the information is not outweighed by legitimate privacy interests protected by the privilege. Subparagraph (d) does not except from the privilege information relating to a nonparty patient who is or may be a consulting or testifying expert in the suit.

Comment to 2015 Restyling: The physician–patient privilege in a civil case was first enacted in Texas in 1981 as part of the Medical Practice Act, formerly codified in Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. art. 4495b. That statute provided that the privilege applied even if a patient had received a physician’s services before the statute’s enactment. Because more than thirty years have now passed, it is no longer necessary to burden the text of the rule with a statement regarding the privilege’s retroactive application. But deleting this statement from the rule’s text is not intended as a substantive change in the law.

The former rule’s reference to “confidentiality or” and “administrative proceedings” in subdivision (e) [Exceptions in a Civil Case] has been deleted. First, this rule is a privilege rule only. Tex. Occ. Code § 159.004 sets forth exceptions to a physician’s duty to maintain confidentiality of patient information outside court and administrative proceedings. Second, by their own terms the rules of evidence govern only proceedings in Texas courts. See Rule 101(b). To the extent the rules apply in administrative proceedings, it is because the Administrative Procedure Act mandates their applicability. Tex. Gov’t Code § 2001.083 provides that “[i]n a contested case, a state agency shall give effect to the rules of privilege recognized by law.” Section 2001.091 excludes privileged material from discovery in contested administrative cases.

Statutory references in the former rule that are no longer up-to-date have been revised. Finally, reconciling the provisions of Rule 509 with the parts of Tex. Occ. Code ch. 159 that address a physician-patient privilege applicable to court proceedings is beyond the scope of the restyling project.