Coping with a Loss of Independence

Public Body: Access to the User’s Record Kept by a Public Institution in the Health or Social Services Sector

Commission d'accès à l'information

Requesting Access to or a Copy of a Medical or Social Record Held by a Health and Social Services Institution

The following persons may consult or request a copy of a medical or social record: 

  • anyone aged 14 or over who wishes to access their medical or social record 
  • the parent or guardian of a person aged 14 or over, who wishes to access the latter’s medical or social record
  • a lawyer representing a person under 14, who needs to consult the latter’s medical or social record in the context of legal proceedings
  • the guardian, curator or mandatary of an incapacitated person, who needs to consult the latter’s medical or social record in order to make a decision 
  • anyone who may consent to care for another person when the latter is unable to do so, and who needs to consult their medical or social record for that purpose

Exceptions 
A user may be denied access to their medical or social record: 

  • if, in the opinion of the treating physician, knowledge of information in the record could be seriously prejudicial to the user’s health. In this case, the institution must inform the user as to when he or she can have access
  • if the requested information in the record was provided by a third party who could be identified without consent if the information were disclosed

Access to a user’s medical or social record without his or her authorization may be possible, as for example in the following cases: 

  • by court order 
  • for scholarly study or medical research
  • in situations provided for in the Act respecting health services and social services, in particular section 19 

To request access to or a copy of a medical or social record, send a letter of request to the person in charge of access to documents and the protection of personal information at the health and social services institution where the record is held.
 
To obtain the name and contact information for that person, consult the Index of concerned public bodies and persons in charge of access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information.

Note
To help those who wish to make such a request, the Commission d’accès à l’information du Québec offers model form letter: Request for access to personal information.

  • traduction anglaise
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