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Case Basics
Docket No. 
(Argued the cause for appellees Patient et al)
(Argued the cause for the appellant)
(Argued the cause for appellees Roe et al)
Facts of the Case 

In 1972, the state legislature enacted the New York State Controlled Substances Act. The Act required doctors to fill out forms for potentially harmful prescription drugs. The prescribing doctor kept one copy, while another copy was sent to the dispensing pharmacy and a third copy was sent to the state department of health. The forms included personal information such as the patient's name, address, and age.


Did the reporting and record-keeping requirements violate the constitutional right to privacy embraced by the concept of liberty under the Fourteenth Amendment?

Decision: 9 votes for Whalen, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Due Process

The Court held that the requirements of the Act did not on its face violate a "constitutionally protected 'zone of privacy.'" The Court found that the statutory scheme evidenced "a proper concern with, and protection of, the individual's interest in privacy" and that the "remote possibility" of potential abuses of data accumulation and disclosure were not sufficient to establish an invasion of any rights or liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment.

Cite this Page
WHALEN v. ROE. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 29 August 2015. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1976/1976_75_839>.
WHALEN v. ROE, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1976/1976_75_839 (last visited August 29, 2015).
"WHALEN v. ROE," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 29, 2015, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1976/1976_75_839.