Rule 803(4). Statement Made for Medical Diagnosis or Treatment.
(4) Statement Made for Medical Diagnosis or Treatment. A statement that:
(A) is made forand is reasonably pertinent tomedical treatment or diagnosis in contemplation of treatment; and
(B) describes medical history, past or present symptoms, pain, or sensations, or the inception or general character of the cause or external source thereof, insofar as reasonably pertinent to treatment, or diagnosis in contemplation of treatment.
Pa.R.E. 803(4) differs from F.R.E. 803(4) in that it permits admission of statements made for purposes of medical diagnosis only if they are made in contemplation of treatment. Statements made to persons retained solely for the purpose of litigation are not admissible under this rule. The rationale for admitting statements for purposes of treatment is that the declarant has a very strong motivation to speak truthfully. This rationale is not applicable to statements made for purposes of litigation. Pa.R.E. 803(4) is consistent with Pennsylvania law. See Commonwealth v. Smith, 545 Pa. 487, 681 A.2d 1288 (1996).
An expert medical witness may base an opinion on the declarants statements of the kind discussed in this rule, even though the statements were not made for purposes of treatment, if the statements comply with Pa.R.E. 703. Such statements may be disclosed as provided in Pa.R.E. 705, but are not substantive evidence.
This rule is not limited to statements made to physicians. Statements to a nurse have been held to be admissible. See Smith, supra. Statements as to causation may be admissible, but statements as to fault or identification of the person inflicting harm have been held to be inadmissible. See Smith, supra.
The provisions of this Rule 803(4) adopted January 17, 2013, effective in sixty days, 43 Pa.B. 620.
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