Discussion:
Use of "elliptical"
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Pamela
2021-12-03 12:59:57 UTC
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Can the following reply be called "elliptical" even though it does not
use ellipsis as defined in English grammar?

Is there another term to describe the nature of the reply? I wish to
avoid accusatory terms like "evasive" and instead describe the dodgy
nature of the response.

--------------

OUTGOING LETTER:

"I request a copy of all my data the medical practicer is required to
provide under the Data Protection Act (GDPR). This includes but is not
restricted to my medical records."

THE REPLY:

"You already have full online access to your medical records and
therefore have electronic access, which you can view or print as you
wish. We do not hold any other information on you that is not contained
within your medical record and therefore have nothing further to
provide."

------------

(Background: the UK Data Protection Act permits a person to obtain a copy
of their data. Technology now permits online access to medical records
but this is not covered by the Act and doesn't truly satisfy the Act's
requirements.)
Pamela
2021-12-03 14:06:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Pamela
Can the following reply be called "elliptical" even though it does
not use ellipsis as defined in English grammar?
Is there another term to describe the nature of the reply? I wish
to avoid accusatory terms like "evasive" and instead describe the
dodgy nature of the response.
--------------
"I request a copy of all my data the medical practicer is required
to provide under the Data Protection Act (GDPR). This includes but
is not restricted to my medical records."
"You already have full online access to your medical records and
therefore have electronic access, which you can view or print as
you wish. We do not hold any other information on you that is not
contained within your medical record and therefore have nothing
further to provide."
------------
(Background: the UK Data Protection Act permits a person to obtain
a copy of their data. Technology now permits online access to
medical records but this is not covered by the Act and doesn't
truly satisfy the Act's requirements.)
Seems like a reasonable reply.
<https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-
protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-
gdpr/right-of-access/how-should-we- supply-information-to-the-
requester/>
The provider uses the format of the request to fulfill the request.
If the request is in an electronic format, (email, for example),
then the provider replies with an electronic formatted copy of the
data. If the request is in a letter, then the provider should use
another common format, as long as it is secure.
If you are not satisfied with the original reply, a lawyer might use
the term "Unresponsive," but that does sound accusatory.
Thanks for looking into it. To digress from my query about what to
call the reply, by "online access" it means data on a screen and not a
copy as commonly understood. In this case there are 150 screens. One
limitation is these cannot be given to another party.

The Data protection Act specifies the subject has a right to a copy of
their data rather than online access to it.

Professional medical organisations appear to advise members that a
copy does not mean screens. See this document for example:

BMA booklet "Access To Health Records"
"section 4.6 In what format should access be provided?"
www.bma.org.uk/media/1868/bma-access-to-health-records-nov-19.pdf

Not many years ago GPs were advised to invite patients to view their
records on a screen at the surgery as a proposed substitute for a copy
of their data. However this did not replace the patient's right to a
copy. Of course GPs found it onerous to provide copies and tried to
avoid the work involved.

Going back to the letters, there's additional data outside the medical
record itself, such as emails, previous subject access requests and
other correspondence.

My question is how to refer to the evasive reply without making it
personal.

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