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28 February 2018
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Q. A mother has requested access to her 16 year old daughter's medical record. How should I respond?

A. An individual can only make an Access Request for their own personal data. Legal guardians can also make an access request on behalf of a child. However, once a child is capable of understanding their rights to privacy and data protection, the child should normally decide for themselves whether to request access to data and make the request in their own name (this is not age dependent). It would also be important in such a case that the GP be satisfied that the person was genuinely acting on behalf of, and in the best interests of, the child whose data was being requested. Revealing of medical information of a child who is capable of making decisions themselves will in most situations constitute a breach of the Data Protection Acts if undertaken without the consent of the child capable of making their own decisions.