Patients' release of medical records: involuntary, uninformed consent?

Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1985 Aug;36(8):843-7. doi: 10.1176/ps.36.8.843.


The authors reviewed 200 requests for records of psychiatric patients submitted to a university-affiliated hospital in May and June 1983. They looked at the sources of and reasons for the requests and subsequent uses and handling of released information. A survey of 32 patients who released all or part of their records indicated that most felt strongly about limiting access to their records, yet 81 percent felt that release was mandatory to get medical, financial, or other help. Those and other survey findings led the authors to question whether patients' release of information was truly informed and to draw up guidelines that health care providers can use to protect patients' confidentiality.

MeSH terms

  • Awareness
  • Coercion
  • Confidentiality*
  • Data Collection
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 300 to 499
  • Humans
  • Medical Records Department, Hospital
  • Medical Records*
  • Oregon
  • Patient Advocacy
  • Psychiatric Department, Hospital
  • Public Assistance
  • Social Security