Comparing Medical Record Ownership and Access: Australia, Canada, UK, USA
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.
KeywordsHealthcare Provider National Health Service Protect Health Information Privacy Rule Enforcement Rule
- 1.Brebner J. Breen v Williams: a lost opportunity or welcome conservatism? Deakin Law Rev. 1996;3:237.Google Scholar
- 3.Australian Law Reform Commission. Development of current Australian privacy principles, for your information: Australian privacy law and practice (ALRC Report 108), Chapter 18. structural reform of the privacy principles, 2008 Aug 12. http://www.alrc.gov.au/publications/18.%20Structural%20Reform%20of%20the%20Privacy%20Principles/development-current-australian-privacy. Accessed 167 Nov 2011.
- 4.Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner. Guidelines on privacy in the private health sector. Sydney: Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner; 2001. http://www.privacy.gov.au/materials/types/guidelines/view/6517. Accessed 16 Nov 2011.Google Scholar
- 5.Curtis K. Privacy Commissioner, to the Clayton Utz Breakfast Seminar, Parkes, Canberra; 2007 Nov 8 setting out the need for further reform. http://www.privacy.gov.au/materials/types/speeches/view/6310. Accessed 16 Nov 2011.
- 6.Australian Privacy Principles, Companion Guide, June 2010. http://www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/fapa_ctte/priv_exp_drafts/guide/companion_guide.pdf. Accessed 16 Nov 2011.
- 7.Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, The OECD Health Project. Private health insurance in OECD Countries, 2004. http://books.google.com.au/books?id = oUM39nDp2s4C. Accessed 21 Nov 2011.
- 8.Canadian Bar Association. Getting your medical records. http://www.cba.org/bc/public_media/health/421.aspx. Accessed 26 Nov 2011.
- 9.Information Commissioner’s Office (UK). Subject access requests and health record requests by members of the public. http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/∼/media/documents/library/Data_Protection/Detailed_specialist_guides/subject_access_requests_for_health_records.ashx. Accessed 26 Nov 2011.
- Carey P. Data protection: a practical guide to UK and EU Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2004.Google Scholar
- Drapeau M. Fundamentals of privacy and freedom of information in Canada. Toronto: Carswell Legal Publishing; 2010.Google Scholar
- Li J, Shaw MJ. Electronic medical records, HIPAA, and patient privacy. In: Rodrigues J, editor. Health information systems: concepts, methodologies, tools, and applications. Hershey: Medical Information Science Reference; 2010. p. 1795–804. doi:10.4018/978-1-60566-988-5.ch116.Google Scholar
- National Health and Medical Research Council. The regulation of health information privacy in Australia. Canberra: The Council; 2004. Available at http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines/publications/nh53.Google Scholar