The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Privacy Commissioner considers access request to physician's notes of an independent medical exam 

A new finding from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner deals with an individual's request for access to the examination notes from a physician who conducted an independent medical examination of an insured under an insurance policy. The physician refused the request, first stating that the notes were not "personal information" because they did not form a part of the individual's medical record. Not surprisingly, the Assistant Commissioner didn't buy that argument.

The physician argued that even if it was personal information, it was protected by two exceptions to the access principle: (i) that it was solicitor client privileged, and (ii) was generated in the course of a formal dispute resolution process. The Assistant Commissioner did not agree with either arguments, principally because the medical exam was conducted in order to determine whether benefits under the policy should be continued but before any dispute resolution process had been initiated.

See the Assistant Commissioner's findings at: Commissioner's Findings - PIPEDA Case Summary #306: Physician refuses to provide access to individual's personal information - March 17, 2005

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