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AbbyNormal

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What is the big deal? If a physician has done no wrong why should s/he care about being recorded?

I have secretly recorded school superintendent upon advice of my attorney. In my state as long as one party knows a conversation is recorded it is legal (different for telephone).

I always carry my audio recorder in my purse because you just never know when it may be handy.
 

Blue Dog

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The doctor-patient relationship is based on mutual trust. IMO, a patient secretly recording a doctor is violating that trust.
 

AbbyNormal

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The doctor-patient relationship is based on mutual trust. IMO, a patient secretly recording a doctor is violating that trust.
I see your point. Unfortunately I am slow to trust. I'd rather not get into it.
 
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What is the big deal? If a physician has done no wrong why should s/he care about being recorded?

I have secretly recorded school superintendent upon advice of my attorney. In my state as long as one party knows a conversation is recorded it is legal (different for telephone).

I always carry my audio recorder in my purse because you just never know when it may be handy.
Not that it's an entirely parallel scenario, but that's exactly the reasoning that opponents of privacy laws use. I.e. why would you care if you're being wire tapped if you've done nothing wrong.
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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What is the big deal? If a physician has done no wrong why should s/he care about being recorded?

I have secretly recorded school superintendent upon advice of my attorney. In my state as long as one party knows a conversation is recorded it is legal (different for telephone).

I always carry my audio recorder in my purse because you just never know when it may be handy.
Here is the key point you have. If you openly state that you're going to record something, the other party has the chance to either refuse to allow it or ask you to leave. If you do it secretly, that's a different issue.
 

Pharmavixen

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I have secretly recorded school superintendent upon advice of my attorney.
1. Why would you, as a pharmacy student, need to secretly record meetings with your school super?

2. Why do you, as a pharmacy student, even HAVE an attorney?
 

emedpa

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1. Why would you, as a pharmacy student, need to secretly record meetings with your school super?

2. Why do you, as a pharmacy student, even HAVE an attorney?
I can't answer that question on the advice of my attorney.....:)
 
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I personally would be in favor of video taping whenever a patient approves it. I feel that I always attempt to give the best clinical care, but knowing that my patient encounters were being videotaped would definitely give me more incentive to be at the top of my game.
 
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If the guy will use his right to record me then I will use my right to not treat him anymore...
 

Sol Rosenberg

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As the first response said, recording someone secretly is largely illegal.
Wrong. It depends upon the state. Some states require that only one of the parties needs to know that the conversation is being recorded while some require all parties to be notified. This latter group, however, represents the minority of the states. You can view a list of the laws (both at a glance and in detail) here:

http://www.rcfp.org/taping/quick.html
 

Punchap

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I have secretly recorded school superintendent upon advice of my attorney.

I always carry my audio recorder in my purse because you just never know when it may be handy.
Not gonna lie..that sounds a bit creepy. If I had a patient that had litigious tendencies of distrust like that -- I would drop them so fast.

Consider: do you think people in other careers (finance, general administration, food service, etc.) would be okay with being taped? Hecks no.
 

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This may be a stretch, but work with me here...Wouldn't a conversation that is recorded in the doctor's office technically be considered part of a medical record, aka protected health information, subject to the same rules and regulations as HIPAA? That conversation technically belongs to the doctor, and disclosure of any or all parts of that conversation to a third party would be at worst, a violation of privacy (of the patient's own doing) and at best, an implicit surrendering of all rights to privacy and disclosure of other portions of the health record?

It seems like a bastardly way of treating a doctor who's examining you. Sounds like something a John Edwards special would do.
 

Sol Rosenberg

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This may be a stretch, but work with me here...Wouldn't a conversation that is recorded in the doctor's office technically be considered part of a medical record, aka protected health information, subject to the same rules and regulations as HIPAA? That conversation technically belongs to the doctor, and disclosure of any or all parts of that conversation to a third party would be at worst, a violation of privacy (of the patient's own doing) and at best, an implicit surrendering of all rights to privacy and disclosure of other portions of the health record?

It seems like a bastardly way of treating a doctor who's examining you. Sounds like something a John Edwards special would do.
So you're arguing that a patient has no rights to the information in his/her own medical record? That HIPAA protects a patient's medical record from.....the patient?

Try again. That information is the patient's to do with what he/she pleases. You think not? So, when my doctor tells me that my cholesterol is 250, I can't tell anyone else unless I have the doctor's permission? HIPAA exists to restrict what healthcare providers/3rd parties are able to do with a patient's medical record.

I'm not sure what the outrage is here. If you call anybody on the phone, your conversation is recorded for "Training Purposes." This is no different. Doctors should treat every patient as a possible lawsuit and behave accordingly (i.e. be on their best behavior.) How does a patient's recording of a conversation change this? Quite honestly, I think that routine recordings would be more likely to exonerate doctors implicated in malpractice more often than the opposite.

EDIT: However, make no mistake WRT the OP: I feel that a doctor may fire any patient from his practice at any time for any reason. If he/she busts someone recording the visit and doesn't want their business anymore, as a result, that's perfectly understandable.
 
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dilated

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I'm not sure what the outrage is here. If you call anybody on the phone, your conversation is recorded for "Training Purposes." This is no different. Doctors should treat every patient as a possible lawsuit and behave accordingly (i.e. be on their best behavior.) How does a patient's recording of a conversation change this? Quite honestly, I think that routine recordings would be more likely to exonerate doctors implicated in malpractice more often than the opposite.
It would be interesting to know what the law says about whether you can put an agreement not to record interactions in the paperwork patients sign. It would have to be a fair trade, something along the lines of "The doctor and patient mutually agree that they will not use video or audio recording equipment without the express written permission of the other party". Obviously you can't really sue them if they still record you, but maybe that would be grounds to exclude illicit recordings from a lawsuit?
 
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I post from the largest part of the Disunited Queendom, where, basically, it is legal for a patient to audio-record an appointment with a (National Health Service) general practitioner or consultant, without the latter knowing and, in most usual circumstances, such a recording could be admitted in evidence in litigation or professional misconduct proceedings.

It would seem, however, that many, if not most, of our medical practitioners over here are, as yet, ignorant of the full legal position. (I suspect that this situation will change quite rapidly with the lowering price and increasing power and ubiquity of pocketable devices which can make good, clear recordings; we will see.)

Be that all as it may, it is certainly clear that some doctors in the UK are getting pretty ‘tearful' on the subject, and I would like to approach the issue robustly from a couple of slightly different angles.

1. Is it not true today that a patient who really wants to record will do so whenever practicable whatever a doctor says?

2. Would currently practising or aspiring medical practitioners at this site rather be told that a patient was recording or not?

It seems to me that ‘hurt' recriminations from doctors about a patient who wants a record of how she is treated (or ‘notices', contractual clauses, caveats etc), let alone ‘bannings' or attempted ‘bannings', send out exactly the wrong message and in the short and\or longer term will prove entirely self-defeating.

A doctor with nothing to fear has nothing to hide, and if a patient has a fuller record of a consultation than the practitioner consulted thought necessary to enter in the patient's notes, so much the better for all concerned.

tm.10.25 pm, my time.
 
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Wholly unabashed by the thunderous silence greeting my maiden posting here, I will chunter on, on topic. If I may say so, I think the question that triggered this thread on the 15th of last month was important, timely and succinctly put - and apart from from anything else, it is to date rare to find any extended, informed, civil and rational debate concerning this subject on the net.

I think one potential difference between the attitudes of both the patients and the doctors on opposite sides of the Atlantic as regards ‘recording patients' may have its roots in the way in which patients have access to healthcare in the first place.

Here in the UK, as I am sure you are largely aware, the majority of patients, with good reason, see themselves as entitled to receive medical advice and treatment funded by ‘the state' because those same patients have through compulsory and (supposedly) targeted taxation provided the state with funds specifically for this purpose. In a nutshell, healthcare is a ‘public' statutory entitlement and ‘private' health insurance is just a luxury the majority (having already paid for care) cannot afford providing a means of queue-jumping for those who can (and effectively pay twice).

If I understand the USA postion at all correctly, patients there treat most medical care as something that must be negotiated for and bought on an individual basis, albeit the expense, for those who are are fortunate enough to have the health and employment status providing eligibilty and relevant contractual benefits, may well be funded in whole or in part by payment from employers to medical insurance companies (as well as by private wealth, course). I have no clear idea of how your admirable President's no-doubt well-motivated healthcare reforms will change this picture, if at all. Perhaps someone will put it a nutshell for me.

In any event, how does this all affect the recording-patient scenario?

Well, in the UK, patients have, in practice, very little real choice as regards where they get their healthcare from. In the case of GPs, for instance, this is mostly a ‘postcode lottery', and if you have more than two practices to choose from you can count yourself lucky. Conversely, at least in theory, there are only limited grounds on which a medical practitioner can properly decline treatment for an otherwise-eligible patient (though, sadly and indeed disgracefully, some doctors seek to abuse the legal small print on this: another story). The result is that both sides of a consulting room can effectively feel ‘trapped' into a patient-doctor relationship when there is a ‘hot-potato' in the middle of the room such as an audio-recorder which a doctor\practice doesn't want … and the temperature can rise pretty rapidly: not good for the patient.

In the USA from the practitioner side, as is duly reflected in the commentary in the postings here so far, I perceive, although there is a (in my view, healthy) tug towards: ‘why not/what have we got to hide?', there is also respect for the notion that a doctor should be\ is free to negotiate her own contracts with patients and indeed, determine who is or is not on their patient list in any event; all of which which at the end of the day would leave the matter to be decided by a different kind of lottery called ‘market forces'. I am not confident of good outcomes from this lottery for the average patient.

I think there is a clear, cheap, honest and swift remedy for the uncertainties I have laboured to describe, and one equally applicable to both America and England; but I also think I will pause for breath and see if anyone else would now like to get a word in edgeways.

tm. 10.20pm, my time.
 
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AbbyNormal

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1. Why would you, as a pharmacy student, need to secretly record meetings with your school super?

2. Why do you, as a pharmacy student, even HAVE an attorney?
1. Litigation on behalf of my son for repeated episodes of assault and battery by special ed teacher. We settled out of court and teacher no longer allowed to teach. Protecting other children from her was my primary motivation. EDIT TO ADD: not that it is anybody's business but since punchap says I have "litigious tendencies of distrust" I would like to clarify that monetary settlement paid for my son's psychotherapy. Nothing else. We didn't go on a cruise or something.

2. Was debating pharmacy school because I love chemistry but I own my farm and the school is three hours away so undecided at this time. Why is it weird that ANYBODY would have an attorney? Had a different one for divorce, then another because deadbeat dad wasn't paying child support.
 
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AbbyNormal

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Not gonna lie..that sounds a bit creepy. If I had a patient that had litigious tendencies of distrust like that -- I would drop them so fast.

Consider: do you think people in other careers (finance, general administration, food service, etc.) would be okay with being taped? Hecks no.
Creepy?

I don't look for problems. The problem was already there and the school was calling me and saying what's wrong with your son, we have been seeing behavioral changes and I said he has been different at home too.

The only reason I would record a conversation with my physician now would be because I have bad memory and would like to replay our conversation but I wouldn't record it secretly. Not my current docs. Other people may have other reasons. I cannot say without knowing their situation. I mentioned that I do not trust some folks but I do trust my physicians.

I carry it in my purse in case something weird happens like I have an auto accident or something that was notewothy. I don't know. Not that I feel I need it. Probably not. Just like if something weird was happening. I dunno. I don't want to be a spy but there could be a reason to record a conversation perhaps.
 
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Consider: do you think people in other careers (finance, general administration, food service, etc.) would be okay with being taped? Hecks no.
This represents a species of argument I have encountered several times in researching this thread’s topic in the past - in very much the same phraseology, in fact.

Where the fundamental nature of the transaction is the retailing of expensive professional advice on matters of, potentially, extreme relevance to the client\patient (such as solvency, liberty, life or death) why ’the heck’ shouldn’t the person advised by an accountant, lawyer or doctor be absolutely and fully entitled to a complete record of the advice received in whatever form it is given?

I have been a lawyer for nigh 30 years and if at any stage in my career I had encountered a partner or employee who wanted to ‘cut up rough’ with a client who wished to record consultations, I would have been very concerned to know what the lawyer had to hide, and indeed to question whether the lawyer actually understood the fundamental nature of the professional transaction involved. A professional who gets hostile because she is being recorded represents herself as wholly untrustworthy; wholly unprofessional, in fact, and I wouldn’t want her practising the law with me.

At this stage of the debate in the past, some professional, usually a doctor, I regret to say, pipes up to say something like, “Ah, but you see it’s about the ‘secrecy’, the ‘covert’ recording which ‘goes against’ the ‘fundamental nature’ of the ‘trust’ required, the ‘sacrosanct’ ‘doctor-patient relationship’.” Perhaps, perhaps not, Blue Dog (see post 3-15-2010, above): but why do you think the patient\client is recording secretly in the first place? It’s usually because they don’t want to be bullied or banned by people who, in my opinion, are then acting very unprofessionally. I am sorry not to ‘beat about that bush’ on this aspect of the topic, Punchap, but that is my genuine, considered and long-held professional opinion.

tm. 1.15pm, my time.
 

Blue Dog

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At this stage of the debate in the past, some professional, usually a doctor, I regret to say, .pipes up to say something like, “Ah, but you see it’s about the ‘secrecy’, the ‘covert’ recording which ‘goes against’ the ‘fundamental nature’ of the ‘trust’ required, the ‘sacrosanct’ ‘doctor-patient relationship’.” Perhaps, perhaps not, Blue Dog (see post 3-15-2010, above): but why do you think the patient\client is recording secretly in the first place? It’s usually because they don’t want to be bullied or banned by people who, in my opinion, are then acting very unprofessionally. I am sorry not to ‘beat about that bush’ on this aspect of the topic, Punchap, but that is my genuine, considered and long-held professional opinion.


Your professional opinion as a lawyer. This is a forum for doctors.
 

Pharmavixen

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1. Litigation on behalf of my son for repeated episodes of assault and battery by special ed teacher. We settled out of court and teacher no longer allowed to teach. Protecting other children from her was my primary motivation. EDIT TO ADD: not that it is anybody's business but since punchap says I have "litigious tendencies of distrust" I would like to clarify that monetary settlement paid for my son's psychotherapy. Nothing else. We didn't go on a cruise or something.

2. Was debating pharmacy school because I love chemistry but I own my farm and the school is three hours away so undecided at this time. Why is it weird that ANYBODY would have an attorney? Had a different one for divorce, then another because deadbeat dad wasn't paying child support.
:thumbup::thumbup: for taking on the system and winning.

Nothing weird about hiring a lawyer to deal with specific situations.
 

Pharmavixen

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Creepy?

I don't look for problems. The problem was already there and the school was calling me and saying what's wrong with your son, we have been seeing behavioral changes and I said he has been different at home too.
In your 1st post, you said nothing about litigating on behalf of a mistreated child. For all we know, you could be the sort of person we run into all too often as health care providers. People who have an over-inflated sense of entitlement. Like the folks on permanent disability/welfare who have never worked a day in their lives, but feel entirely qualified to nitpick how highly-trained professionals do their jobs.
 
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Lol! Blue Dog;-

1. Have a look through the postings on this topic to date and note how many times doctors or the like (presumably) make reference to an actual or assumed legal position.

2. It is precisely the (partly valid) equation of some issues between different professions (suggested, in part, by the post to which I was principally replying) which my previous post deals with. I fail to see how I could have been clearer on exactly that issue. (You don't (presumably) think that doctors and nurses have some monopoly on professional concerns such as confidentialty, effective communication, trust, acccurate records, conflict of interest and the like, do you?)

3. I am of course both a lawyer and, from your point of view no doubt, a ‘layman'. I have also been (in the dark ages but proudly) a nurse, and I remain quite definitely a patient. ( I wonder if I could trouble you for your views on my….don't worry, only kidding.) Do you not think that patients, professional or otherwise, who may have grave concerns about the way some doctors behave deserve a voice amidst your deliberations? Surely, you are not running scared of robust doctor-pomposity-debunking views, are you? As I understand it, from the title of the site alone, there are likely to be contributors here early in their medical careers.The good ones will be listening to their patients hard, learning, and thinking before they speak.

The question of doctors trying to get rid of patients who record is not going to go away easily, and you can bet your bottom dollar there will be lawyers all over the matter in due course. I'm a mild one compared to many…

Thanks for taking an interest, anyway.

tm. 605pm, my time.
 
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AbbyNormal

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In your 1st post, you said nothing about litigating on behalf of a mistreated child. For all we know, you could be the sort of person we run into all too often as health care providers. People who have an over-inflated sense of entitlement. Like the folks on permanent disability/welfare who have never worked a day in their lives, but feel entirely qualified to nitpick how highly-trained professionals do their jobs.
I am brand new here. I don't have familiarity here that I do on some other internet communities. I am still trying to see how I fit in here and sort through the different personalities on this huge community.

When I said I was advised by my lawyer to record a conversation it would have been more clear if I had explained the circumstances but I didn't want the topic to be about me so I tried to keep it simple.

And a tidbit about me - when I came to this site I had no idea what to expect and probably should have lurked awhile but I didn't. I initially represented myself as pre-pharmacy because when I started college that was my intent. But my path strayed and I became a paramedic and then critical care nurse. I want something different now than another twenty years working in the unit. But what? Pharmacy? My nurse manager tells me I am good at technical writing and I like research so perhaps research associate? Or CRNA? I told my sister I want to do something different because I have become expert at what I do and I want to be challenged and she thinks I am loco. She says she would stay in a comfortable job. My mom says that growing up I always was strong willed and looked for challenge. I don't want a boring life.

If I win the lottery I will get a dozen good horses and offer therapeutic riding for special needs children. That would be so cool. I hope my lottery ticket wins tonight!
 

AbbyNormal

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Your professional opinion as a lawyer. This is a forum for doctors.
Blue Dog, I have been reading lots of your posts and you are obviously bright and you express yourself well.

This community is largely composed of doctors and those who want to be doctors and some of us are "other" health care.

I was just wondering if you thought the perspective of a lawyer does not fit with this community or if you differ in opinion on the content of the lawyer's post.

Pardon me if this is inappropriate to ask. You have never given me reason to disrespect you, I just was curious. :)
 

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Lol! Blue Dog;-

1. Have a look through the postings on this topic to date and note how many times doctors or the like (presumably) make reference to an actual or assumed legal postion.

2. It is precisely the (partly valid) equation of some issues between different professions (suggested, in part, by the post to which I was principally replying) which my previous post deals with. I fail to see how I could have been clearer on exactly that issue. (You don’t (presumably) think that doctors and nurses have some monopoly on professional concerns such as confidentialty, effective communication, trust, acccurate records, conflict of interest and the like, do you?)

3. I am of course both a lawyer and, from your point of view no doubt, a ‘layman’. I have also been (in the dark ages but proudly) a nurse, and I remain quite definitely a patient. ( I wonder if I could trouble you for your views on my….don’t worry, only kidding.) Do you not think that patients, professional or otherwise, who may have grave concerns about the way some doctors behave deserve a voice amidst your deliberations? Surely, you are not running scared of robust doctor-pomposity-debunking views, are you? As I understand it, from the title of the site alone, there are likely to be contributors here early in their medical careers.The good ones will be listening to their patients hard, learning, and thinking before they speak.

The question of doctors trying to get rid of patients who record is not going to go away easily, and you can bet your bottom dollar there will be lawyers all over the matter in due course. I’m a mild one compared to many…

Thanks for taking an interest, anyway.

tm. 605pm, my time.
Perhaps there is a cultural barrier here...In the U.S. (mostly free of tort reform), doctors have been conditioned to be distrusting of lawyers who will drag them and all of their colleagues to court over cases that may or may not have merit. Either way, the process of being sued for malpractice is not only detrimental to the physician in that he or she may lose their assets (not as much as most would think), license or both, but also their confidence in practicing is shaken. Thereafter, that doctor and many others will continue to drive up costs of healthcare practicing defensive medicine to avoid the aforementioned situation. Defensive medicine does not equal better medicine. It is costly, inefficient and does not utitilize the better clinical judgement doctors go to school for so many years to achieve.

I won't deny that there are legitimate cases in which negligence plays a role. In this case, the physician should be held accountable.

Thinkmaw, you are a lawyer and your opinions are those of a lawyer (as Blue Dog pointed out)...given that you are a professional, I would expect you to realize that your profession is separate from mine and our values vary greatly. In some circles, it could be laughed at when a lawyer has the gall to question the morality of a well-meaning physician who values his/her privacy as protected by the law (U.S. state law). Perhaps this is an unfair stereotype.

So, until my country decides to institute a true socialist healthcare system, I am going to cling to my professional, free agent rights of autonomy, privacy and freedom to practice as I've been taught in a manner consistent with my values, education and respect for my patients.

Please note: I would never deny my patient access to their medical information or instructions I provide them. This does not need to be in the form of audio recording -- simply request a copy of your chart and printable instructions on how to manage your health once you've left the office. Yes, it's that simple.

Abbynormal -- I apologize if I offended you with my earlier post. As Pharmavixen pointed out, you didn't give specifics about the abuse of a child (I hope all is well on that front BTW). I interpreted your post in the context of doctor/pt. confidentiality.
 

tncekm

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Blue Dog, I have been reading lots of your posts and you are obviously bright and you express yourself well.

This community is largely composed of doctors and those who want to be doctors and some of us are "other" health care.

I was just wondering if you thought the perspective of a lawyer does not fit with this community or if you differ in opinion on the content of the lawyer's post.

Pardon me if this is inappropriate to ask. You have never given me reason to disrespect you, I just was curious. :)
No need to brown nose about it. Blue Dog has no legs to stand on with that statement. (no pun intended). We all know that lawyers have every right to post here, especially when the topic involves "legal matters" (despite the fact that I maintain most lawyers are evil, subhuman creatures that survive by opportunistically feeding off of the weak and exploiting the defenseless and unsuspecting). :D

Carry on, thinkmaw.
 

Blue Dog

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No need to brown nose about it. Blue Dog has no legs to stand on with that statement. (no pun intended). We all know that lawyers have every right to post here, especially when the topic involves "legal matters" (despite the fact that I maintain most lawyers are evil, subhuman creatures that survive by opportunistically feeding off of the weak and exploiting the defenseless and unsuspecting). :D

Carry on, thinkmaw.
I question the motives of any lawyer posting on a physicians' message board as much as I would those of a physician posting on a legal message board.
 

AbbyNormal

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Abbynormal -- I apologize if I offended you with my earlier post. As Pharmavixen pointed out, you didn't give specifics about the abuse of a child (I hope all is well on that front BTW). I interpreted your post in the context of doctor/pt. confidentiality.
No offense taken.

I agree with you that health care professionals are conditioned to distrust lawyers. I am not fond of some of them but my son's lawyer always gave us cookies. I liked her. :)

The kid is doing fair. He is very stressed in school right now. He is a special needs child and the school has been negligent in so many ways. I have decided that teachers are like a bell curve, a few are great, a few are horrid and most are simply meh. I need to speak with the superintendent again and see if we can do things differently next year. I think he is tired of seeing me bounce off the walls of his office by now.
 

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I question the motives of any lawyer posting on a physicians' message board as much as I would those of a physician posting on a legal message board.
I don't blame you. They're the closest thing to vampires that we (realistically) have on earth. But, his input is "technically" warranted.
 

AbbyNormal

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No need to brown nose about it.
LOL

Okay that is not how I am usually described.

I was fussing with a physician who is incredibly bright but sometimes annoying (just like I said to you once, hmmm) and I told him I love him even though he is sometimes a d*ck. He said, well you are a c**t. I said, well most people tell me I am a b*tch. He said, honey, for you b*itch is an understatement!

So am I going to fit in here or will I be banned? I got a warning my first week for posting a gif of pooh bear and tigger having sex.
 

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LOL

Okay that is not how I am usually described.

I was fussing with a physician who is incredibly bright but sometimes annoying (just like I said to you once, hmmm) and I told him I love him even though he is sometimes a d*ck. He said, well you are a c**t. I said, well most people tell me I am a b*tch. He said, honey, for you b*itch is an understatement!

So am I going to fit in here or will I be banned? I got a warning my first week for posting a gif of pooh bear and tigger having sex.
All I got out of this is that you're a perv. And, now I like you a lot more :D
 

AbbyNormal

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Since the basic purpose of the internet is to share the knowledge and to communicate with each other, I can say that forums are playing one of the important role in sharing the knowledge and to communicate with each other.
Would you massage my feet?
 
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This thread gets more fun every time I find a moment to return to it. But please let’s not in any way lose sight of the serious central issue (originally raised by Bronx 43, bless you). I have no problem with personality\professional clashes in forums - sometimes heat generates light - and as you may reasonably discern, I enjoy robust debate.

Would anyone like to quarrel with this summary?

1. Bronx asks whether physicians here would seek to ‘remove a patient from your care’ if you found out that they were secretly recording you.

2. I, wretched lawyer that I am, have sought to ‘move this question on’ by suggesting that at least one reason why a patient might secretly record a consultation with a doctor is precisely because that patient fears that, in my terminology, she would get ‘bullied or banned’ if she declared what she was doing. ( I have limited but more than merely anecdotal evidence that this is exactly why at least some patients do not tell doctors they are recording, but that is, perhaps, by the by.)

3. The question then becomes, in my view, but perhaps you will agree in a way that the debate thus far now supports, not about secret recording, but about whether or not a patient should be entitled to record how she is treated.

4. There has yet to be one serious, coherently-put and cogently-reasoned, argument against such a putative patient entitlement posted in this thread.

tm.5.30pm, my time.
 

Blue Dog

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There has yet to be one serious, coherently-put and cogently-reasoned, argument against such a putative patient entitlement posted in this thread.
If you're doing something covertly because you think the other party would object to you doing it overtly, it should be self-evident that you're doing something wrong.

It never hurts to ask first. Many doctors (myself included) would have no objection to a patient openly recording an office visit. In fact, I think it would be useful for an interested patient to establish a doctor's willingness or unwillingness to allow themselves to be recorded. Should a doctor object to being recorded, the patient may wish to seek care elsewhere.
 
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Many doctors (myself included) would have no objection to a patient openly recording an office visit.
Excellent, and thank you Blue Dog.

Now, as regards the issue of ‘trust’, and indeed candour, would you or anyone else here like to suggest a way in which you could encourage patients who wish to record to tell you that is what they are doing\going to do?

tm 7.55pm my time.
 
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Whilst waiting to see if my last specific question is going to be privileged with a response, I would like to pick up a point which is incidental to the central issue of this thread but, in my view, germane to some of the iatric attitudes one can encounter in discussion of it viz. providing patients with copies of their medical records.

If, genuinely and uniformly, it is ‘easy’ in the States (see Punchap’s last post, penult,par.) for a patient to get hold of all of their medical records, from any source - and to my mind, ‘easy’ in this context should include considerations such as swiftly, accurately, clearly and either freely or at least inexpensively, confidentially and without question or umbrage - then I am , genuinely, glad for your patients.

I have to confess that, pretty much uniformly, that is all most definitely not the case in this old island.

We have had specific legislation covering this issue for about quarter of a century and still doctors parade ignorance and surprise, and indeed resentment, when they are told that they are, with very few exceptions and caveats at all, obliged to give patients copies of their notes if asked to do so, within a statutory time-frame to boot. It can be ‘the devil’s own business’, on behalf of patients, getting ‘practice secretaries’ and ’hospital administrators’ (to whom, largely untrained and unsupervised in this respect, doctors then delegate their statutory responsibilties) to comply with the legal obligations concerned.

Well, ignorantia legis neminem excusat as we used to say to each other lightly at break (ignorance of the law excuses nobody) and welcome to an interview with the Devil. I tell ‘em that if they are one day late with one document I will get a written a ruling indicating non-compliance from our Information Commissiopner’s Office with the individual doctor’s name all over it (a process which usually takes 3 to 6 months and includes the doctor having to try to explain herself to the Office,) and send it to whichever newspaper local to the doctor has the largest circulation. I say this obviously before they have even had a chance to comply, and sometimes slip in a old copy of a local rag frontpage complete with picture of smug doctor being chastised. The comparative success rate between doing that and just sending in a ‘routine’ ‘subject access request’ (as it is so very clumsily called) is really very startling. The doctor, who, of course, has in any event to ‘sign off’ the copy info leaving her practice\hospital desk, suddenly takes a real interest in doing what her patient is perfectly entitled to have her do and the whole transaction is done and dusted within a short space of time.

(Don’t ya just love the way I can curl my tail round my horns…?)

Seriously though, and without wishing to re-till ploughed land, there is a very real parallel between here between the legal and medical and professions. If I am working for a client, the file on my desk belongs, in most ways that have any real significance, to that client. It is their business, they are paying for the actions and advice all the way, and they are fully entitled to ‘call for’ the file or, say, to direct me to send it to another lawyer who at any time they think might do them a better job. That’s how I was trained to think on the issue and I believe it is a healthy discipline to remember at all times that my client is looking over my shoulder, and that tomorrow the whole matter may be being critically reviewed, in every detail, by another professional. Why should a patient’s medical file be treated in any other way by some doctors?

As a final illustrative point on this sub-issue may I share with you all the fact that I was fairly recently in my GPs’ (local doctors in general practice) surgery (office) on my own personal account and was told that I probably had something which you may be sorry to learn is not considered likely to be fatal but that the GP proposed to write a letter of referral to an appropriate consultant (hospital specialist). As it happened the GP available that day was not one who knows me, but from the look on his face and subsequent expostulation, when I said ‘So be it. I look forward to receiving a copy of the letter,’ you would have thought I really had sprouted horns and then asked for a date. ‘In all his days in practice,’ (and he was about half my age, so that’s pretty old) he said, he had never been asked to do that!

Oh for goodness sake. Doctors, or rather, some of them, ‘preen themselves’ as regards their supposed ‘inter-personal’ and ‘consultation skills’, their ‘patient-side manner’ blah-de-blah. Of course, I shall automatically assume that everyone here is utterly irreproachable in these respects, but frankly guys, you have got to admit that some doctors know very little about effective communication. Their egos are in the way.

tm 2.30pm, my time
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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I would offer a few statements to your second post. Not the whole thing by any means (I'm certainly no lawyer), but just a few things I've observed over the years.

1. Patients are generally allowed a copy of their complete medical record. The biggest exemption to that is any kind of psychiatric care that the physician believes will have a negative effect on the patient's health. This is used rarely, but I think its worth noting as many of us are/will be dealing with more than a few psych patients.

2. In my home state, if a patient demands a copy of their chart a fee is allowed to cover lost time/copy expenses. This is, of course, not valid when another provider requests a faxed copy. I don't know of any time constraints (if the law you speak of is federal, I surely wouldn't know), but that's certainly worth considering.
 

VA Hopeful Dr

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Excellent, and thank you Blue Dog.

Now, as regards the issue of ‘trust’, and indeed candour, would you or anyone else here like to suggest a way in which you could encourage patients who wish to record to tell you that is what they are doing\going to do?

tm 7.55pm my time.
I think its best accomplished in small steps. Many patients will have note pads with them to take notes of what you say/do. I've often seen doctors I've worked with helping them out with those notes (spelling corrections, repeating treatment plans back to the patient while they take more complete notes, and so on). I think once you show that you're both OK with and will help with them taking notes on a visit, they would be more inclined to ask about a straight up recording.
 

Blue Dog

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would you or anyone else here like to suggest a way in which you could encourage patients who wish to record to tell you that is what they are doing\going to do?
I have never encouraged a patient record me, nor am I likely to do so. I do encourage them to take notes, however.

it is ‘easy’ in the States...for a patient to get hold of...their medical records
Yes, it is - generally speaking. We employ a record copying service, so all record requests are handled by them.
 
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Thank you both VA Hopeful Dr and Blue Dog for taking the trouble to wise me up on my queries regarding the production of copy records to parients in the States. From what you say the underlying elements of the system legal or otherwise are an fact very similar in the States to what they over here. Yup, we too have what can be conviently termed a ‘psych’ exception and that is one the ‘few caveats’ I referred to. It’s also one of the resaons why a doctor should ‘sign off’ any record’s production - the other principal reason being, I trust, that a patient’s highly confidential medical information should not’ leave the building’ unles a patient’s doctor (as opposed to say some jumped-up ‘practice administrator’) knows why, how and when.

I realise that I can hardly claim you two as the proverbial ‘scientifically selected sample’ but you also give the impression that as medics you actually know the relevant law and practice in this area and you seem fairly relaxed about a patients ‘asking and getting’ without much fuss and, and at not more than cost. Can’t quarrel with that. Truly I wish our doctors did the same; they don’t and I, along with other lawyers etc,of course, certainly have first hand and repeated evidence of that.

Amwell View School -v- Doherty (2006)

Now this is a Brit legal case and while I would much like to link you to a full and reliable digest or two, but I think I had better not; in the way of things nowadays, such on-line digests\reports tend to be plastered with legal advertsing - none of it emanating from me, I hasten to add, but I don’t want to risk being construed as acting against site rules.

Nevertheless, if you google it, I think you might just find it interesting. (Go for one of the longer reports though: some of the shorter ones can be a bit misleading)…

…and, nonetheless I am going to try a short summmary myself, mostly from memory (always a bit risky!) and…

the reason I bring it up is because you both mention the idea of apatient’s taking notes which I think is a highly relevant consideration and so did the Emploment Appeal Tibunal ( = effectively, a Court of Apeal for employment disputes) as regards the complainant (albeit not a patient) in this case, which is concerned with the admissibilty of recorded evidence in judicial proceedings. I imagine everyone must be perched on the edge of their seats.

Ms Doherty was an employee at school and clearly no pushover. She wound up fighting for her job in (internal) grievance and disciplinary proceedings over some allegation or another and clearly felt she was miserably treated by the school authorities in those (in the parlance, ‘quasi-judical’) proceedings.

I don’t currently remember what the precise procedural wrangles were, if indeed they were ever fully reported - one way or another not getting a fair hearing no doubt: but there was a head on clash concernig the facts (as it were, at the school) in or on the way to the Employment Tibunal ( = effectively Court of first instance). The School denied it had said and done the things that Ms Doherty said it had said and done.

Then Ms Doherty produced the tape-recording which she had covertly made at the time, of all the proceedings at the school. Ah.

I am sure everyone is now agog for me to announce what the next court up (the afore-mentioned Appeal Tribunal and the final court in this matter) held concernig the admissabilty or otherwise of such evdence, (which for some reason the school authorites were clearly very keen not to get so admitted); but on Friday evenings it is my habit to a go and play snooker very badly. So I’ll see you over the w\e if you are still around.

If you have been, thanks for listening.

tm. 7.00 pm my time
 

Blue Dog

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I trust, that a patient's highly confidential medical information should not' leave the building' unles a patient's doctor (as opposed to say some jumped-up ‘practice administrator') knows why, how and when.
I sign off on all record requests. In certain cases where records are being requested by an attorney other than the patient's, we have to wait a length of time in the event of a motion to quash.
 

dilated

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Well, ignorantia legis neminem excusat as we used to say to each other lightly at break (ignorance of the law excuses nobody) and welcome to an interview with the Devil. I tell ‘em that if they are one day late with one document I will get a written a ruling indicating non-compliance from our Information Commissiopner's Office with the individual doctor's name all over it (a process which usually takes 3 to 6 months and includes the doctor having to try to explain herself to the Office,) and send it to whichever newspaper local to the doctor has the largest circulation. I say this obviously before they have even had a chance to comply, and sometimes slip in a old copy of a local rag frontpage complete with picture of smug doctor being chastised


You sound like a real prize to have as a patient. Even accounting for crazy internet person syndrome, I find it difficult to believe that a) you actually do this, b) any doctor doesn't immediately give you your records and tell you to find a new doctor. Providing legal threats and promises to badmouth them to the media along with a routine request for records if they are "one day late with one document" is something that very few professionals, whether doctors or accountants would tolerate. I certainly wouldn't.
 

Punchap

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Well, ignorantia legis neminem excusat as we used to say to each other lightly at break (ignorance of the law excuses nobody) and welcome to an interview with the Devil. I tell ‘em that if they are one day late with one document I will get a written a ruling indicating non-compliance from our Information Commissiopner’s Office with the individual doctor’s name all over it (a process which usually takes 3 to 6 months and includes the doctor having to try to explain herself to the Office,) and send it to whichever newspaper local to the doctor has the largest circulation. I say this obviously before they have even had a chance to comply, and sometimes slip in a old copy of a local rag frontpage complete with picture of smug doctor being chastised. The comparative success rate between doing that and just sending in a ‘routine’ ‘subject access request’ (as it is so very clumsily called) is really very startling. The doctor, who, of course, has in any event to ‘sign off’ the copy info leaving her practice\hospital desk, suddenly takes a real interest in doing what her patient is perfectly entitled to have her do and the whole transaction is done and dusted within a short space of time.

(Don’t ya just love the way I can curl my tail round my horns…?)
I will agree with the previous poster -- I would NEVER want you as my patient. In fact, I would NEVER want to know you in any capacity because nobody (lawyer or otherwise) should be so malicious.

I know you're probably posting on here to get 'a rise' out of doctors for some nefarious or bitter reason. But your activity on this forum is seeming more like you're conducting some free, crap research.

In the future Thinkmaw, I wish for you to develop a conscience (as much as the law will allow), better spelling (your ol' island did invent English, right?), and a hobby that doesn't entail harassing doctors.

Punchap out...peace.