Wednesday, March 25, 2015

IVF medical records belong to the patient ! Why do doctors hold on to their patient’s medical records ?

Whenever patients come to me after a failed IVF cycle, the first thing I ask for is a copy of their IVF medical records . Sadly, the commonest answer is still – We don’t have a copy – the doctor never gave us one, and we didn’t even know that we were supposed to get one.

Many IVF clinics continue to hoard their patient’s IVF medical records, and I get very upset with this malpractice. It’s important that patients have a complete copy of every medical treatment they receive – and this true whether they do IVF, or undergo knee replacement surgery !

Medical treatment needs to be open and transparent, and it’s important that patients know exactly what was done during their IVF cycle. This is invaluable information, based on which we can tweak the treatment protocol to improve their chances of success in their next cycle. By refusing to give patients their IVF medical records, doctors are doing them a major disservice. Sadly, IVF clinics seem to use this as a tactic to hold their patients hostage, so that they will not go to another doctor or seek a second opinion. They feel that by hanging on to their patient’s medical records, they will reduce the risk of their losing their patient to another clinic.

They feel that this way they will be able to force the patient to continue taking treatment with them . This is extremely shortsighted on the clinic’s part, and patients get upset and angry when doctors refuse to be open and transparent . Not giving the patient their medical record is also illegal, and exposes the doctor to the risk of being sued.

Even worse, when patients sense that doctors have clamped up and are refusing to give them their records, they start suspecting the worst. They lose faith in that doctor – and will then no longer trust any doctor, because of the behavior of one particular IVF clinic .

Doctors need to understand that the patient’s medical records belong to the patient, and they  should not adopt a confrontational approach . They should be happy to hand over copies of the IVF records – and this is something which every good clinic does routinely and proactively., We always keep a copy of the record, so we know exactly what we have done for the patient, but the original is always given to the patient.

IVF treatment is expensive , and patients have paid lots of money for their treatment . It’s completely unfair , unethical and unacceptable for doctors not to give patients their medical records . If your doctor refuses to do so , you should send him a written request. If this is ignored, then send a legal notice through your
lawyer .

Unfortunately, this seems to be the only way in which some doctors will start improving their behavior. Sadly, they continue getting away with unacceptable behavior , which is not good for their patients, or for the entire medical profession , because all doctors then get tarred with the same brush. Patients need to speak up – for their sake, and for the sake of the other patients as well !

Worried that you won't be able to understand your IVF record ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you better !

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