Intended for healthcare professionals


Australia rules that doctors own their notes

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 29 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1108
  1. C Zinn

    In a landmark ruling a judge has ruled that Australian doctors have the legal right not only to refuse patients access to their medical files but also to charge them for the privilege of seeing their files. In a test case in Sydney in which a woman is suing a plastic surgeon Justice John Bryson found that the notes belonged to the doctor. “It is his legal right to keep them to himself, keep them secret, or show them to anyone he chooses and to impose conditions, such as furnishing releases or indemnities, or paying fees, if he is to allow anyone to see them,” he said.

    The controversial decision by the New …

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