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Re: Rel. of Information - Secondary release (fwd)

  Jim forwarding post by one not on him-l.
  --------- Forwarded message ----------
  Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 19:38:59 -0500
  From: James Brady <jbrady@freenet.columbus.oh.us>
  To: jbrady@freenet.columbus.oh.us
  Subject: Re: Rel. of Information - Secondary release
  The below was typed by a health care professional who has seen some but
  not all of the posts concerning secondary releases.  I post with that
  person's consent, but identification witheld upon request. 
  BTW, this individual does not always agree with me :+)
  ---------- Forwarded message ----------
  Date: Tue, 6 Aug 96 
  From: **********************************************
  To: jbrady@freenet.columbus.oh.us
  Subject: Re: Rel. of Information - Secondary release
  I didn't see the original post, but you nevertheless make some very valid
  points.  It should be noted that ( at least to my knowledge) there is no
  law that requires physicians to retain patients' records for any
  particular length of time.  The patient's contract with the physician only
  insures confidentiality - fragile as that thread may be.  It does not
  guarantee longevity of records.  Traditionally, a doctor keeps records for
  his own benefit to guard against tax or malpractice issues.  Once the
  particular statute of limitations is up, there's no reason for the doctor
  to keep those records.  Yet, conceivably the patient could suffer from a
  lack of medical history and even the heinous insurance companies could
  find themselves horribly bereft of useful information upon which to base
  their outrageous premiums.  Pardon me! Is my bias showing?  The point is
  that a patient's record is as much a part of him or her as an arm or leg
  or gall bladder or uterus.  It's owned, bought and paid for.  It belongs
  to the patient - not the doctor or HMO or insurance company.  And the
  decision about what to do about that record - who can look at it or use it
  for whatever purpose - should rest solely and squarely with the patient in
  an informed consent environment.  That seems to be not the case in today's
  health care scene.  The patient is the LAST person who benefits from
  access to his or her own medical records.  We are at 1984 twelve years
  down the pike and advancing rapidly toward a world where no one can feel
  comfortable in his or her own private personhood.  So that's my 2 cents