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December 12, 1966

A Photograph For My Records

Author Affiliations

Rockford, Ill

JAMA. 1966;198(11):1223. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110240131052

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To the Editor:—  Diagrams-Diagrams are certainly not adequate for a plastic surgeon's records. But other specialists, especially dermatologists and orthopedists, do well to take photographs of certain problems in order that the records be complete. Patients seem to understand this (better than doctors) and accept photography without question.When I first started practice, I followed my hospital's routine and used its permission form. It sounded so legal that one patient wouldn't sign! It is perfectly all right for a doctor to write the most intimate details of a patient's sex life into the records, but a signed permission slip is suggested by some lawyers before a photograph is taken merely for the record. I threw away the permission slips saying to myself that I was going to be logical even if the lawyers weren't. Twelve years and some 5,000 patients later, I've never had a patient demur. I have my