What’s PDPA for

Doctors may be able to save my lives, but I’m not sure if I can trust his words anymore.

Just last week, I got a call from my doctor asking to postpone the appointment in light of the CoronaVirus. He mentioned that it’s best to stay away from the hospital, offered to ship my prescription and informed me about my MRI results. I had a slipped disc.

“Hold up. Could I get those scans and ask for a second opinion?”


I received a report in the email, but not the scans. I spoke the doctor again asking for the actual scans. He mentioned that it can’t be sent over because of the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA). I suggested then to keep the appointment and I can come to take a photo of his computer screen.

Again. “No, you can’t. PDPA”. [At this point, I was about to reach through the phone and punch him].

“It’s my data. Why can’t I get them?”

As much as I did not want to come to the hospital, I’m in pain and I want to fix my back. I tried repeatedly to understand why can’t I get the scans, my scans. Again, PDPA.

End of my patience, “could you quote the exact section in PDPA where I can’t get a photo of my scans?”

He acknowledged and said that he would come back to me.

The phone rang. This time, he found a solution. He’s going to print the scans out. Boom, problem solved.

Except, what really happened to PDPA?

Of course, this article isn’t really about PDPA. It’s about taking the courage to say “I was wrong, I’m sorry”. Because in the short term, we might be able to get away with the uneasiness of owning up, while costing us the trust and reputation that have been built over decades.

Because in the long term, we all win. We keep our reputation and, in the meantime, learn something to use for the rest of our lives. To be the kind of person that adopts the posture of learning instead of covering up.

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