How do I access medical records of a deceased relative?

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  • Fari says:

    My late dear husband 16 December 2019 passed away
    Hospital didn’t let me know about his conversation
    He had unregistered will but I was emotionally didn’t allow to give me one copy
    After he passed away hospital didn’t
    Answer me and said I have to ask his son was his executor
    Unfortunately his son first told me will is ready after that denied
    More than 1 years I am looking for my right
    Nobody help me
    If you can help and advise me please
    Let me know
    My English language is weak his son knew about that and I can’t find help here and getting my right

    Thanks a lot

  • Mary MKeddy says:

    Need help obtaining records in different hospitals in Ontario. Like police, why isnt there one ‘continual chain?’
    Little sis died from same cancer that surgeon at Niagara Falls claimed I was butchered with, yet I live and she doesn’t! Witness present at consult, then he only remove 2 of 3 tumours in error we believe. Who do we approach for review to ensure it doesn’t continue happening with this surgeon?

  • NCoe says:

    My mother died 30 years ago, leaving 4 of us kids behind, and her death certificate states there was a pending autopsy, but there is no record of such on public files that I can find.

    I’d like to find out what caused her death at such a young age (49) and be informed if there’s something I can do to avoid meeting the same demise.

    I live in B.C., Canada, and my brother is the executor of the estate.

  • Nan says:

    Can I just put personal reasons for requesting my late husbands medical records from the hospital in bc Canada, or, do I have to give explicit reasons

  • Jo-Anne says:

    I have a few health issues so I’m wonder if I could hv access to my Grandparents medical records

  • Berica says:

    My mother dyed two years ago. They forgot to put the palliative case kit. She suffered two week intense pain for gangrene . Septicemias told my doctor. She dye at home. I was taking care of her and I was sick I just start to remember. That’s is my pain. Tomorrow will be two years.
    Do I have time to conpleint. How do I make a letter. Thank you. So much.

  • Linda Conlon says:

    My Mother died at A seniors home January 2019. I would like to access her medical records I am her daughter and her power of attorney I am the only daughter. I want to know if my mother had cancer. I want to know what her medical records showed in the months leading up to her death.

    Much appreciated,

    Linda Conlon

  • Maxine stevens says:

    Chezeray Corey Everett died suddenly apparently his bowels ruptured with a heart attack he had a colostomy bag from a rape that occurred about 2011

  • Maxine stevens says:

    My son died on April 4th I need answers of how he died

  • Rita Francis says:

    I am trying to find the medical records of my Aunty Mavis Jones who was in a home in Wales she was born 8th February 1920 born 4 Thomas Row Rhymney Monmouthshire Wales I would like to find out what happen to her while there not sure if it was a mental home she was in (pontypool)

  • Cecile says:

    I wish to acquire the medical records associated with my sister’s death in 1978 in Toronto, Ontario. Can you please advise how I go about this? Do I need her husband’s permission to proceed as he is the executor? I do not want to upset him by asking his permission as the death was sudden and left a deep scar. The details of her death were never discussed by her husband or my mother (deceased). I know bits and pieces that I picked up over the years but nothing that would help me understand what happened in medical terms. I am also interested to know how her illness and untimely death relate to my personal health history.

  • Katie iverson says:

    My sister passed away I. Just need to know all. Of. The health records to no they truly did everything they could

  • Tehesha R Bozeman says:

    I’m simply just trying to find out anything. My 13y daughter seeing Hem/Onc. For past yr @ Cures4KidsNV. My father passed away 2weeks after his 36th birthday In 94′. I contacted for my own Health issue’s .Instd Gmther told me: Dad passed “Cancer”. Buried 2wks ago. Packed Away Obits. So she can’t send me one. In 94′ I was 15y. Father USNavy Vet. w/Hon.Disc.Then told-was not contacted.Due to Stress for her to bare. My Being his Only Child am I able to request Medical Records,Caused Death type & Age of Diag.Onset? Maybe my child has inherited the gene causing her ongoing health condition,testing & Monitoring. Ontop of might help me ease anxiety of Simply Just Not knowing. In 2days I’ll be 39yrs. Do the Math & My child is sick. Or anyone reading please ferl free to point me in the correct direction. Please. Between Gmther;VA;SSA. No help in anyway to get info. Except Confusing DD-214. Thank You. Hope I didn’t waste your time. Peace be into you.

  • Barry M. Beckta says:

    My father was a patient in a long term care facility (Scepter Manor) in Uxbridge Ontario in July 1973, he died July 15 and was buried in Uxbridge Cemetary July 17, 1973. He was transferred from Scepter to Uxbridge Cottage Hospital where he died. I would like to obtain any of his records from either entity, Scepter Manor no longer exists and I have no idea if they were purchased by someone else and eventually went out of business or what happen to his records can you help…. His name was Stanley Robert Beckta Sr.

  • Madeline Root says:

    My mother was mentally ill when I was 8 until 13 years of age. I never asked her about it because I didn’t want to embarrass her.
    I am now mentally ill. I tried suicide twice. I need to see these records for my own mental health. I need to know her diagnosis.

  • Karen says:

    My sister in law was the advocate for my mother after she fell and was in hospital 4 years ago . Before she went and had the fall I had been the contact for her . My sister in law was also her executor . Now that my mother has died and had many falls in her home and outside , I wanted to see her medical records . My mother’s memory and her behavior was never the same after the fall . But both me and my brother were not mentioned in my mother’s will , we want to see the records to see if her memory had ever been tested for Alzhiemer’s , how can we see those records . Her driver’s licence was removed at the time of the fall and now my sister in law is saying she was competent …… I want to see the proof and what happened to her . So how do I find out anything if she is unwilling to talk .

  • Trish says:

    I recently found out who my birth father was and that he passed away in 2016 am I able to access his medical records for genetic and other health concerns he was only 62 when he passed and I am now 44 how would I go about doing this ?

  • Richard Collins says:

    My sister died and her husband is executor. He won’t speak or go e us ( immediate family) no info.
    Can I request the medical records as a lawsuit entails….

  • Kathryn Sebastian says:

    From Alberta my father passed on but with the limited information I am able to access I have great concerns with the course his final days. I need this medical information to proceed with legal matters involving the medical decisions made by the power of attorney. I do not have power of attorney nor am I the executor and they will not release this information to me. Please direct me through the proper channels as I am just wanting to ensure the necessities of life were not withheld without legitimate medical instructions and recommendations

  • Dawn Marie says:

    I am trying to get REQUEST for my Father medical records as he died in 1973 and need to ghet medical records as on death certificate showing od detoermd of how long he had the illness on the certificate as my cousin told to try get his medical records so jhow do i get that ??????


  • Louise mcintyre says:

    I would like to get my fathers medical records from the months prior to his sudden death. How can I do this in Alberta ? I am his middle daughter and his only blood relative in Canada. I would like to know if there is any answers to his sudden death that are inside these medical documents

  • Jennifer says:

    Both my parents are deceased now, and my mother died when I was 11. How would I obtain her records.

  • Jackie Singh says:

    I have just read about how to obtain records of a deceased relative for Ontario rules do you have information on Manitoba? My mother passed away with no will and had nothing.

  • Eunah says:

    My daughter died stillborn at 28 weeks gestation. When can I expect a cause of death from the autopsy? Its been 15 days since she passed/when she was delivered at Sunnybrook.

  • Kelly says:

    How do I access my brothers autopsy and medical records. They were released to his girlfriend who is refusing to share them with his direct family. They were never married I am his next of kin. I would like.copies and have been refused. My brother was killed in an automotive accident may 6th of this year. I’m just looking for answers and closure upon my brothers death. Does his girlfriend who was also his ex at the time have the right to deny me the information. Is there any legal action I can take to get the answers I need

  • LIZ says:

    I am the executor for my father who died in 2014 and my mother who died in 2015. I went to their doctor a couple of weeks ago seeking information and was told that the files were shredded. I was dumbfounded and don’t know what to do. My main interest right now is information in order for them to receive the disability tax credit, which has not been claimed and that both definitely would have qualified for.
    I invite your comments. I don’t know what to do in order to get the information I need or deciding about filing a complaint and what the implications of that would be.
    My parents lived in Ontario all their lives and the doctor is in Ontario.

    Thank you!

    • Paul Taylor says:

      Hi Liz:

      You may want to contact the body that regulates the medical profession in Ontario. It’s called the College of Physicians and Surgeon of Ontario.

      Here is a web-link for the complaints process:

      Your first question will be … how long are doctors required to maintain medical records after the patient has died?

      I hope this helps.

  • Carol says:

    My daughter passed away in 2011. I have many questions about the care she received. Is it possible to obtain her medical records from her doctor in British Columbia? Thanks for your reply.

    • Nicky Pemberton says:

      Hi Carol,

      My daughter died at age 24 on April 3, 2017. I recently requested all her hospital records but have not received any reply as yet. I am going to try to get her physicians office records
      but am expecting that this will be difficult (based on the circumstances of her death). I don’t have the resources to file a malpractice suit but would like to file a formal complaint about this doctor and the clinic that they run to The College of Physicians. The sheer amount of malpractice that occurred over the 5 year period preceding her death makes it difficult to know where to start; so many doctors, clinicians and program directors were negligent, so many practice guidelines were harmful and so many program’s had stringent exclusion criteria that resulted in repeated treatment refusal. It seems that our government has cut budgets so drastically that many departments offer only a token number of patients care, the rest are not even put on waitlists, they are flatly refused treatment. I feel that as an RN and mother I have a duty to do something on behalf of the public, but there are so many issues, I don’t even know where to start. I feel that doctors are using patient confidentiality as an excuse not to involve family members. I had a legal representation agreement with my daughter and still doctors would not communicate with me. My daughter suffered neurological damage due to repeated treatment refusals and then they failed to diagnose or acknowledge this as such. Instead they shuffled her to psychiatry and drugged her against her and our family’s will on neuroleptics to mental incapacity and incontinence. She suffered terrible side effects from this medication and finally slipped into a coma and died. Once comatose, they focused on getting consent for organ donation and wanted to perform an operation to keep her alive long enough to enable organ transplant to a recipient. I refused.
      I don’t know what happened to your daughter but I’m very sorry for your loss. If you wish to contact me, I’m at
      God bless.

  • Dale says:

    Mother die over ten years ago,I want to know what heath problems she had.she die from lung cancer andi wonder what health problems she had in the last ten years of he life.I am encounting some problems of my own and wonder if this may be heritatry.I am her executor of her estate.

  • Kim Hendricks says:

    I would like to get access to my estranged fathers medical records. He died at the age of 54 of some kind of thyroid cancer. He never married again after he divorced my mom and I am his only child. I am having health issues of my own and would like to know if its genetic.

    • Jeri savage says:

      How can I access my deceased brothers psych

      • Tan says:

        Hi Jerry,

        I am also looking to access my Mother’s psych records. If you happen to read this message, and found out how to get the records, would you mind sending me an email or sharing here if you figured out how to?
        My condolences on the loss of your brother.


  • Herbert Jarvis says:

    Is it possible to attain the medical records of my father? He died suddenly almost 40 years ago but at some point prior to his death he had duodenal ulcers. I would like to know what medication was prescribed for him and how he was cured of the ulcers. My elderly mother was the executor of my father’s will but no longer has the capacity or capability to follow up as the executor on this issue.

  • Kate McDougall says:

    I am trying to access medical records and autopsy results from 1969 for my aunt who died at the age of 24 in 1969, Kingston, Ontario…is this possible.

    • Paul Taylor says:

      Hi Kate:

      I suggest you try to track down the executor of your aunt’s estate. That person – if still alive — may have some idea about your aunt’s medical history — such as who was her doctor and where she received treatment. The executor may still have some of your aunt’s original documentation stashed away.

      Health-care providers are under an obligation to keep a patient’s medical records for a certain period of time. But some institutions still maintain those records even after that date has expired. So there is a great deal of variability. But 1969 is, of course, a long time ago.

      The key thing you need to do is find out where the autopsy was performed. You may need to contact the local Kingston hospitals, and the coroner’s office, to see if there is still anything in their files.

      Here is a link from the Sunnybrook website that provides some general information on obtaining the records of a deceased person:

  • Connie says:

    My mother was admitted to the hospital between 2003 and 2009 due to a fall and a stroke. She was over 81 yrs old. She has recently died and i have no record of her health problems nor how many times and dates she was afmitted. These records will be useful to me and my children in the future.


Paul Taylor


Paul Taylor is a health journalist and former Patient Navigation Advisor at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where he provided advice and answered questions from patients and their families. Paul will continue to write occasional columns for Healthy Debate.

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