Comparing Medical Record Ownership and Access: Australia, Canada, UK, USA

  • Chris Dwyer
Reference work entry


Attitudes regarding medical record ownership and access have changed over recent times. As greater degrees of patient autonomy are embraced, questions regarding ownership and access to records have come before the courts.

This chapter considers the “traditional” ownership regimes that related to medical records in four common law jurisdictions. It then reviews recent legislative changes, introduced as part of the modernization of existing privacy legislation. It details the manner in which modern privacy concepts now operate to provide patients with greatly expanded rights, with regard to their medical records. It notes that patients in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States now enjoy broad rights to access and – on occasion – modify the contents of their medical record.


Healthcare Provider National Health Service Protect Health Information Privacy Rule Enforcement Rule 
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Further Reading

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  4. National Health and Medical Research Council. The regulation of health information privacy in Australia. Canberra: The Council; 2004. Available at Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Junior Medical OfficerLiverpool HospitalSydneyAustralia

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