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 JAN - FEB 2004
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COVER: Renee Bondi
How Long do I Have
to Live with This, Lord?
Talking to Your Spouse About Your llness: How Much is Too Much?
Medical Records: Aren't They Mine?
Increasing the Odds:
Disability Resources
to Get You Organized
What I'd Like to Tell My Pastor About Chronic Illness
10 Ways to Save $ in 2004
Talk Over Tea with the Editor
Tell Us Your Thoughts
Strive to Thrive Health News
Joy Bites
Strength in the Shadows
Volunteer Corner
Book Review: Examining Alternative Medicine
Ask the Doc
hopenotes: hopekeepers
Group & Leader Information




I was sent to the other end of the hospital to see a surgeon & handed my thick file of medical records. . . It was the first time I was pleased to have extra time in the waiting room, as I quickly skimmed through the papers; I was shocked at the large chunks of information that I had shared with my doctor about my condition which was omitted from the records.

He had dismissed my most recent complaints of pain from active rheumatoid arthritis as "likely caused by stress of breaking up with boyfriend." Based on his scrawled inaccurate appointment descriptions, I now knew where I stood with this doctor.

A nurse appeared and in exasperation huffed, "You're not supposed to be reading that!" grabbing the folder out of my hand.

"They're my records," I said, "I don't understand why I can't."

"You just can't," she flustered. "It's not ethical."

She was wrong.

Can I Get a Copy
of My Medical Records?

Usually. Most states allow patients to review their medical information, but some states don't address the issue at all. Some may place restrictions on the information you can get, for example, psychiatric in-formation is most difficult to receive.

Isn't the Information Mine?

Technically, the documents belong to whoever made them, but in most cases the information about you belongs to you. Contact the you State Department of Health to find out your rights in your state. The number is in your local yellow pages or at the FDA web site at: www.fda.gov/oca/sthealth.htm.
Even in states where the law is restrictive or unclear, many medical providers will provide your records to you anyway, according to the American
. . .

This article was featured in our January February 2004 issue. Subscribe today so you don't miss our next issue. You can also order back issues while supplies last at our bookstore, The Comfort Zone. We also gladly accept orders by mail, FAX or phone. REST MINISTRIES, PO Box 502928, San Diego, CA 92150, FAX 800-933-1078 or phone 888-751-7378.



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