Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Good evening. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you. My condolences for your loss.
I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get.
Please be patient as I type your answer.
Access to medical records is similar to the right to make final plans regarding the funeral. It is called the right of sepulcher and it is reserved to the next of kin.
When a spouse dies, the surviving spouse is the next of kin and anyone else seeking access to medical records would need a subpoena from the court or an appointment as executor to the estate.
I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.
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