The HIPAA Privacy Rule specifically permits certain persons identified by the patient, such as a spouse, family members, or friends, to receive information that is directly relevant to the patient's care or the patient's payment for health care. If the patient is present or is otherwise available before the disclosure and has the capacity to make health care decisions, the covered entity may discuss this information with the family and these other persons if the patient agrees or, when given the opportunity, does not object . For example, when a person comes to a pharmacy and requests to pick up a prescription on behalf of an individual he or she identifies by name, a pharmacist, based on professional judgment and experience with common practice, may allow the person to do so.

I also need to know if an inversion is used here.

1 Answer 1


There is no inversion, the subject has been elided. You can paraphrase this as:

...if the patient agrees or, when given the opportunity, the patient does not object...

As you can see there is no inversion used here. Object is a verb, not a noun, used to mean to protest, to disapprove.

The long adverbial phrase here is probably what caused confusion. If you take it out, the sentence's structure becomes clearer:

....if the patient agrees or does not object...

  • Thank you. I got it, but what is the difference when saying "given the oportunity" and " the given opportunity" ?
    – user5036
    Aug 6, 2015 at 22:12
  • What kind of opportunity ? Opportunity of consenting?
    – user5036
    Aug 6, 2015 at 22:15
  • 1
    No. When the patient is given the opportunity to object to this discussing of information with the family. This means the same as when he is given the chance to object.
    – Vlammuh
    Aug 6, 2015 at 22:28
  • Exactly. The problem in understanding is not because the subject ("patient) was elided, it's because of the oblique forward reference caused by the elided ".. opportunity [to object]...". The thing being elided is not knowable until the last word of the sentence! Aug 8, 2015 at 10:31

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .