Can I access medical records of a dead relative?
My aunt got committed to a state mental hospital when she was my age (20), and I want to know why. I am not digging up dirt, just want to know my family history.
I am struggling with mental issues, and I asked my grandma why she was committed and she refuses to tell me the whole story but it sounds eerily specific to something I've been dealing with. I just want to know if this is a thing in my family.
On the website it says that records of deceased can only be released to someone who represents the dead person. I don't know what that means or if my aunt will have one, or if the person who represents her would obtain the medical records so I can know my family history.
Does anyone know how/if I can get a copy of this when she is dead or living?
- 4 weeks ago
No they are burned as soon as they died.
- Anonymous1 month ago
Yes, you have to ask.
- PeriferalistLv 71 month ago
I'd try asking other relatives if they have records they can share with you.
- ckngbbblsLv 71 month ago
start with your doctor who may be able to access them a lot easier than you can.
Tell him your concerns.
Have you contacted the state hospital where she was incarcerated?
Is she still alive or has she passed away?
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- ObserverLv 71 month ago
Medical records are confidential and sealed at ones death from the public. They are suppose to be maintained in storage for 7 years by the hospital or primary physician , but even getting them through legal channels is difficult. The person most likely able to get copies of the records is the person who is the administrator of the estate, and in some cases the next of kin. The person who is next of kin would be your Grandmother (her mother) or possibly her husband, or the eldest adult child. You would not be considered next of kin.
- MaxiLv 71 month ago
"On the website it says that records of deceased can only be released to someone who represents the dead person." Which means the next of kin, which you are not, so no you would not be able to see/research these records.
- A HunchLv 71 month ago
It is extremely unlikely that the medical records even still exist unless she continued to be treated by this same facility throughout her life and recently passed. Medical records are legally required to be held for 7-10 years depending on state law. And assuming this happened a long time ago, the laws might have been shorter.
Also, remember that it's very unlikely that the diagnosis would even be very helpful to you. A lot has changed in the mental health field even in the last 20 years. Manic Depression (the predecessor to Bipolar I) was much more a catch-all condition compared to today when there is much more segmenting of conditions.