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There’s been a great thread on Dr. Wes’ blog and the SPM listserv about patients obtaining and reading their own EKG’s.  As you can imagine — lots of pros and cons. A significant difference noted between the right to have the information (“tracing”) and the ability to interpret the tracing and use it to guide health management. The first is black and white to me: of course we can have our EKGs. The interpretation and use of the interpretation is more gray.

When my son was 10 years old I was heavily involved in teaching Advanced Cardiac Life Support ACLS; that was 25 years ago.  We home schooled. I took him to most of the classes I taught — 20 or more of them over a couple of years.  He became very interested and studied the heart rhythms (EKGs), intubation (putting a breathing tube in through the throat), the algorithms (procedure for managing a code including recognizing heart rhythms, selecting the correct medication, and breathing), and leading a code. He studied and rehearsed a lot. He passed the test! He put some physicians, including cardiologists, to shame. I’m not sure of the implication of this anecdote, but it fits somehow.

I find it ironic that we can question owning and possessing our health information more than owning a gun. What is wrong with this picture?


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