Reading your own EKG?

There’s been a great thread on Dr. Wes’ blog and the Society for Participatory Medicine’s  list about patients obtaining and reading their own EKG’s.  As you can imagine – lot’s 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 EKG’s. The interpretation and use of the interpretation is more grey.

When my son was 10 years old I was heavily involved in teach Advanced Cardiac Life Support ACLS (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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