I happened to come across this family situation on a health discussion forum the other day, in which the poster was asking:"My husband's biological father has never recognized him, never spoken to him, never acknowledged him. As a child, my husband was adopted by his step-father, and has never had a need for anything from his biological father or asked for support in anyway. But I'm now pregnant, and we're interested in knowing something about the paternal side of my husband's family. Do we have any rights to access such information? I believe that when my husband was officially adopted by his step-father, the biological father signed a form that gave up all rights."
The answers given to the poster were almost all saying, as this one did:" ... no one has any legal access to anyone's medical records, except parents in the case of their minor children."
and the only positive advice offered being:" ... try and contact other members of his family and see if they can give you any information."
I did a little further checking myself, and this does seem to be the way the law on this is set up, that children attempting to find out health issues, especially genetic ones, about
the biological father they may have never even known, and who may be long gone, may have a hard time in doing so.
While this question of access would apply to the dad's health in general, for our purpose, as the thread title indicates, we're talking about
any PCa history the dad may have had.
Especially if it was a serious case. Clearly, it would be in the son's best interest to have knowledge of this when making his own future health plans and decisions.
The HIPAA Privacy Rule seems to be the legal framework here, and from what I have read it does appear to come down, for the most part, on the side of the person whose records are being sought. Even biological children are restricted from access to those records, if the biological parent objects, or is unavailable to allow access.
But is this fair? As noted, a son would unquestionably benefit from learning about
his biological father's experience with PCa, enabling him to better prepare his own strategy for possible future dealings with the beast.
But if the current legal hurdle of limiting the son's access to this information applies, should the law be changed?
Should children have the legal right to demand
such health information from absent biological parents, assuming they know who and where those parents are, and said parents must
then legally provide that information to them?
This is a question that deserves an answer, as the family situation described above is becoming all too common these days, and many children are growing up not knowing what health issues they may have inherited from a biological father who is no longer around, if the current laws continue to apply.
Where should the line come down between a child's right to know what parental health factors, especially genetic ones, may be determining his own health future, and the absent parent's right to privacy?
Where do you think that line should be?
Chronic prostatitis (age 60 on)
BPH w/ urinary obstruction, 6/2011
Ongoing high PSA, 7/2011-12/2011
Biopsy, 12/2011: positive 3/12 (90%, 70%, 5%)
Gleason 6(3+3), T1c
No mets, PCa likely still organ contained
IMRT w/ HT (Lupron), 4/2012-6/2012
PSAs (since post-IMRT): 0.1 or lower
Post Edited (81GyGuy) : 8/13/2019 10:52:18 AM (GMT-6)