Should I request my mother's medical records?

  1. A little background:
    I am in my third semester of nursing school. I started this long journey 6 years ago. We all have things that motivate us to go back to school, right? Mine was the passing of my mother. She was young and a substance abuser that had related chronic health problems. Regardless, though, she was an inspiring woman.

    I have no doubt about what caused her death due to what was relayed to me second hand, but I have a curiosity to know what she looked like as a patient (lab values, diagnostics, physician notes, etc.) So, I'm considering requesting her medical records.

    My question is, has anyone else gone through a similar situation? Should I go through with the request?
  2. Visit laceybridge profile page

    About laceybridge

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 1
    from US


  3. by   pmabraham
    Good day:

    I'm sorry to hear of your loss; but glad she was an inspiring woman.

    While I've not traveled your road, it looks like this would be of aid to you in many good ways.

    If they allow it, then move forward with your request.

    Thank you.
  4. by   nurseprnRN
    This is a real double-edged sword, but it's entirely your call (subject to whether you can get them).

    You might feel better if your suspicions are confirmed.

    You might be devastated by other information in the chart about which you have no prior knowledge.

    You might always wonder if you don't see them at all.

    Other family members might pump you for information now or in the future. How valuable is your mother's privacy then?

    You can say no to them. Do you want this responsibility? What will you do if they are angered by a refusal?

    I'd suggest that this is less a medical records access issue than a counseling issue-- a quick talk with the medical ethicist or counselor might help you clear these issues up to your satisfaction before you proceed.