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Verdict: Prisoners can view their medical records

Verdict: Prisoners can view their medical records


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Federal constitutional court refers to self-determination of the prisoners
Karlsruhe (jur). This requires the dignity and self-determination of the prisoners, as the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe decided in a decision published on Friday, January 27, 2017 (file number: 2 BvR 1541/15). Exceptions are only permitted in individual cases for important reasons.

The Federal Constitutional Court was right to an inmate of the Straubing correctional facility. A previous trial involved an examination of his blood sample for HIV in 2007. He hadn't known about it, let alone given his consent. When he found out in 2013, the AIDS test was only declared illegal after the intervention of the Federal Constitutional Court (decision of May 20, 2014, ref .: 2 BvR 2512/13).

The prisoner now wanted to know what had happened to other tests and blood tests. He therefore requested comprehensive access to his medical file.

The prison administration refused. He could only get a "file information". To do this, however, he had to state which blood samples he wanted information about. The inmate's argument did not apply to the inmate's argument that without an overview of the file it would not be possible for him to name specific examinations. The Regenburg Regional Court and the Nuremberg Higher Regional Court (OLG) also dismissed the prisoners.

The prisoner was again successful before the Federal Constitutional Court. He was "violated in his fundamental right to - also informational - self-determination and personal dignity".

The Karlsruhe judges emphasized the medical record as particularly sensitive private data. The Federal Constitutional Court had therefore already ruled in 1998 that doctors and hospitals had to give their patients access to the medical file; The patient's right to self-determination must then only resign if there are important issues opposing it (decision of 16 September 1998, file number: 1 BvR 1130/98).

This applies to an even greater extent for prisoners. Because they could not choose their doctor freely or change if they lack confidence. Prison is characterized by a "particularly large power gap", and the fundamental rights of prisoners are therefore particularly at risk. The prisoners would not be able to look without the medical records
make sure that the record keeping complies with the fundamental rights requirements.

Accordingly, the Federal Constitutional Court had already ruled on the enforcement of criminal offenses in psychiatric treatment that there is "a particularly strong constitutionally protected interest" in accessing the files (decision of January 9, 2006, ref .: 2 BvR 443/02).

According to the new decision of December 20, 2016, which has now been published in writing, prisoners are also generally entitled to access to their medical records in prison. Exceptions are only permitted if "if there is a weighty issue to prevent access to the file", such as public security interests. In such cases, however, the authorities would then have to check whether it is sufficient to blacken out or sort out parts of the file.

In accordance with these provisions, the regional court in Regensburg should now decide on the release of the medical file. mwo

Author and source information



Video: Patient Online: Qu0026A with GP Steve Hastings about online record access (July 2022).


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