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Old 13.09.2011, 21:43
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Who owns my x-rays?

I have a question about x-rays.

Today I saw a new dentist and had a set of x-rays done. I need some more work done on my teeth, but was not overly happy with the dentist I saw.

I plan to seek a second opinion, and rather than being x-rayed again I would like to take my most recent x-ray along to my next appointment.
My question is do I own the x-ray (once I have paid for it of course)? I am guessing I do, so it is acceptable to return to the dentist and just ask for it?

Anyone been in a similar situation and can shed some light?
Thanks,
Fiona in SZ
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Old 13.09.2011, 21:50
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

Easy one..... say you're going home for a visit and that you'll need your x-rays for your dentist in your hometown. You shouldn'thave any difficulty in getting them. They are yours after all.
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Old 13.09.2011, 21:53
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

Some doctors keep them, some insist you take them. They are yours to keep.
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Old 13.09.2011, 22:05
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

They are yours. Just ask for a copy. They will most likely e-mail them to you as mine did.
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Old 13.09.2011, 22:07
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

Thanks for the replies.

I am actually quite happy to collect in person and tell them why I want them. But then subtlety has never been my strong point...

Just wanted to check that they actually belong to me.
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Old 13.09.2011, 22:11
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

I disagree.

The x-rays are copyrighted by the photographer / radiographer.

You paid him for a service , not for any assets. There is no purchase agreement here. He was paid to take x-rays and examine them. He was not paid to take a set for you.

You may be able to request a copy, at a charge though.
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Old 13.09.2011, 22:18
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

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I disagree.

The x-rays are copyrighted by the photographer / radiographer.

You paid him for a service , not for any assets. There is no purchase agreement here. He was paid to take x-rays and examine them. He was not paid to take a set for you.

You may be able to request a copy, at a charge though.
I have to disagree. The patient is the owner. There is no such thing as copyright in x-ray pictures. It's not a matter of intellectual property, it's simple ownership. The patient pays for and owns them. However, normally the dentist takes care of the storage, but the patient has the right to keep them if he / she prefers doing so.
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Old 13.09.2011, 22:19
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

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I disagree.

The x-rays are copyrighted by the photographer / radiographer.

You paid him for a service , not for any assets. There is no purchase agreement here. He was paid to take x-rays and examine them. He was not paid to take a set for you.

You may be able to request a copy, at a charge though.

I was automatically given copies of most of the imaging I've had done here and my husband has multiple copies of images taken of his bum knee. I do not recall having to ask for them, they were simply given. Whether "extra" was paid or not for multiple copies (one for the imaging center, one for me) I do not recall.

This was something that took me by surprise actually as all of the files we had for patients regarding their eye care were "our" files, not "theirs" so it was interesting (and wonderful) to me to simply be handed ultrasounds, mammogram and other images that have been done.
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Old 13.09.2011, 22:20
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

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I disagree.

The x-rays are copyrighted by the photographer / radiographer.

You paid him for a service , not for any assets. There is no purchase agreement here. He was paid to take x-rays and examine them. He was not paid to take a set for you.

You may be able to request a copy, at a charge though.
That is correct.
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Old 13.09.2011, 22:25
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

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I have to disagree. The patient is the owner. There is no such thing as copyright in x-ray pictures. It's not a matter of intellectual property, it's simple ownership. The patient pays for and owns them. However, normally the dentist takes care of the storage, but the patient has the right to keep them if he / she prefers doing so.
Source please.

There is no contract between the Dr and patient to supply the X-Rays.

Dentist "I need to take an X-Ray to get a better look"
Patient "Fine"


Ownership remains with the holder. There is no implied or otherwise transfer of title. Point of law please.

Anything else is wishful thinking.
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Old 13.09.2011, 22:27
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

UTH..... the Captain is a source.
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Old 13.09.2011, 22:58
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

I can only go by my personal experience. I asked if it were possible to take my X-rays with me as I was leaving the country and she actually said that it was no problem as they are mine. They then e-mailed them to me.

It may be different at other practices.
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Old 13.09.2011, 23:02
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

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UTH..... the Captain is a source.
Indeed, and I am interested in the law that has yet to be quoted. My own research disagrees with his statement. But it's only Google, so I am open to persuasion.

It is clear that the X-Ray can be regarded as a photograph , and that places it well within existing copyright law. It does not have to be artistic to be copyrighted. The analogy between a Radiographer and an X-Ray , and a Photographer and a photograph is a strong one, and this is what I base my view on.
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Old 13.09.2011, 23:03
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

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I disagree.

The x-rays are copyrighted by the photographer / radiographer.

You paid him for a service , not for any assets. There is no purchase agreement here. He was paid to take x-rays and examine them. He was not paid to take a set for you.

You may be able to request a copy, at a charge though.
source please.

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I have to disagree. The patient is the owner. There is no such thing as copyright in x-ray pictures. It's not a matter of intellectual property, it's simple ownership. The patient pays for and owns them. However, normally the dentist takes care of the storage, but the patient has the right to keep them if he / she prefers doing so.
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They are yours. Just ask for a copy. They will most likely e-mail them to you as mine did.
source please.
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Old 13.09.2011, 23:05
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

Depends on contract and local law.

Absent contractual provisions, some countries have the creator own the rights. Others, the client.
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Old 13.09.2011, 23:05
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

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I can only go by my personal experience. I asked if it were possible to take my X-rays with me as I was leaving the country and she actually said that it was no problem as they are mine. They then e-mailed them to me.

It may be different at other practices.
Same here - we had our last family visit to our lovely Morges dentist last week before our US move next month, and he gave me his card with his email address, and said just to drop him a quick note (so he has my email) and he'll send our x-rays straight out to me.
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Old 13.09.2011, 23:09
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

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Same here - we had our last family visit to our lovely Morges dentist last week before our US move next month, and he gave me his card with his email address, and said just to drop him a quick note (so he has my email) and he'll send our x-rays straight out to me.

Whilst most surgeries avail themselves to handing out copies, the point here, is what legal ground exists if they don't.

I might also argue that an X-Ray uniquely identifies a person and may be construed as personal data, for which you may insist upon getting a copy of.

Just how a man in the street could identify such though is debatable.
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Old 13.09.2011, 23:10
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Depends on contract and local law.

Absent contractual provisions, some countries have the creator own the rights. Others, the client.
The copyright of a photograph remains with the photographer. It's pretty much world wide. Ever wondered why negatives were never given with wedding photos?
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Old 13.09.2011, 23:11
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

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source please.
No source , other than a comparison with photographs and existing copyright laws/agreements.
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Old 13.09.2011, 23:11
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Re: Who owns my x-rays?

You can surely have a fun game with this kind of thing. It's personally-identifiable information and thus, no matter what, I'd say belongs to the person it identifies.

I would say in the land of Hanspeter Thür that this is a done deal. You should either a) be able to get them or b) demand they're destroyed
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