YOUR PRIVATELY HELD RECORDS

SUPPORTING A FEDERAL PUBLIC RECORDS ACT THAT ENHANCES OUR ACCESS AND CONTROL OVER OUR PRIVATELY HELD RECORDS

This page concerns the need for a system for more visible reporting and public access to such reports of physician, dentist and attorney malpractice and misconduct, nationwide.

  • Has an attorney or a court denied you full access to your case file?
  • Have you been told your medical record is not available because it was destroyed?
  • Have you been denied the right to correct errors in your records?
  • Have your medical records been sold to a third party or corporation?
  • Is your physician or dentist citing rules that are in the best interest of a corporation that actually owns his/her practice, rather than treating you in your best interests?
  • Has your complaint of Medical, Dental or Legal Mistake, Misconduct or Malpractice fallen on deaf ears?

In the United States, each state has its own laws governing access to its residents' and their family's records that are privately held by physicians, hospitals, clinics, laboratories, dentists, and attorneys....and also to disciplinary records about doctors, dentists and lawyers. Some states permit a citizen direct access to his/her own medical record with ID -- which should be the law in EVERY state. In an age where "identity theft" has become epidemic, our privately held medical records may be sold without our permission, or may be available only if certain conditions are met. If a malpractice case actually goes to court, it's most often settled out of court and sealed from public scrutiny. C. David Naylor, MD, states that most adverse events due to negligence never come to the attention of our self-regulatory bodies (in "Reporting Medical Mistakes & Misconduct" http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/reprint/160/9/1323.pdf ) and that in many states (such as Massachusetts), the negative notation may be erased early, based on audits subsequent to the proven offense. Dr. Naylor envisions an "outcome" based reporting system for checking the professional's overall "track record."

AmFOR believes the public interest is best served by permitting the public access to true and complete statistical complaint reporting, which would not breach client confidentiality, for an informed choice before engaging a "helping professional" of any type. AmFOR will support an amendment to a federal Public Records Act which addresses public access to statistical information in these privately held records. If you agree, bring this issue to the attention of your local U.S. Congressman/Congresswoman (Senator or Representative) both by writing directly and by informing your local chapter and national headquarters of large lobbying organizations such as AARP, National Organization for Women (NOW), National Oraginzation of University Women, and the Uniform Laws Commission (even though they are lawyers).

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