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SBelle
05-19-2009, 14:08
Anyone ever been denied the dive due to a medical condition for which you had a doctor's release?

I have a certified friend who has a certified daughter that has diabetes. She has it under control and has a written medical release from her doctor saying recreational diving is ok. There has been one occasion where the shop crew gave the OK, but when they got on site, the DM wouldn't let her dive. Pretty frustrating.

I ask because after a couple of years of hassle free diving, I now find myself with pre-hypertension, and am now taking a prescription med for high blood pressure. I plan to download the PADI medical release form and get my doc to sign it -- he already said diving was no problem, and that he would sign the form. I'm off to Cozumel in July with several diving friends, including the two described above, and I guess we're a little gun-shy after the girl's last experience.

I want to be able to answer questions on a dive shop's release form truthfully, but on the other hand I don't want to be denied the dive due to a condition that is under control and for which I have a medical release. I've searched the forum and there seems to be a split on how to answer the questions on a dive outfit's form. While everyone seems to agree that there should be no diving without your doc's release (if it applies), some people seem to say to always be truthful on the dive shop's release form, and others say to fudge the truth to avoid any questions that could deny the dive.

I'm just looking to see if anyone with a medical condition has been truthful with a dive shop's questions, and then been denied service, even though your own doctor said all was OK.

Don Wray
05-19-2009, 14:59
I've never been ask for a medical release from a dive shop except when taking a course. I have been ask for one by a cruise line when booking dives through them. I had a signed medical form with me from the doctor, which I have him sign every year at annual physical time. No problems. I've been on a lot of dives, with a lot of ops, in many areas of the world and again, never ask for a medical form. This was way before becoming an Instructor also, so that had no bearing on it. As a matter of fact, I rarely present my Instructor card when diving for fun, I use Rescue and/or nitrox. Mainly to avoid working while on 'vacation.'

CompuDude
05-19-2009, 15:51
Never been, but I have no medical conditions worthy of concern.

I'm worried about my wife, however, who has some back issues (but will have a doctor's note before she dives).

In the US, I would be honest on the forms, and take it up with the owners if a DM pulls something like that. Clearly he's just not educated on the topic and needs a superior to set him straight. But here in the US, where liability is a real issue, be honest.

Outside the US, liability laws mean little. I'm not saying YOU should lie (never lie, it's bad. ;) ) BUT I will probably lie on the form, just to avoid hassles. Depends on the situation, of course... most times the truth (with a real doctor's note) is fine. Clearly, you have to make a judgment call of what's best for your situation.

ReefHound
05-19-2009, 16:00
Personally, I would just answer no problems on any forms to avoid hassles. Once you raise a flag the op may not take it down. They may not want to assume the liability of determining if a doctor's release is valid or relevant or recent enough or even adequate to protect them.

I am not advising anyone else as to what to do.

awap
05-19-2009, 16:06
As long as I know I am medically fit to dive, that is all that matters. As long as you claimed to be fit and don't demonstrate any problem, the op is covered from a liability standpoint.

navyhmc
05-19-2009, 16:23
My $.02 on the issue:

If a doctor has given a release to dive, I do believe that you can honestly sign any waiver that asks: "Do you have any medical conditions that preclude you from diving?" with a respounding "NO!"

To the OP, even though your friend's daughter has dibatetes, she has a release from her physcian. The release means that her condition does not preclude her from diving. That goes for a diver I know with hypertension. He takes meds that keep it under control, he has seen a doctor that has given his blessings and the medications he's on pose no threat while diving. So he answers no on the releases with no remorse afterwards.

I believe that one should stay offthe radar so to speak whenever possible.

IndyDiver
05-19-2009, 16:54
Personally, I would just answer no problems on any forms to avoid hassles. Once you raise a flag the op may not take it down. They may not want to assume the liability of determining if a doctor's release is valid or relevant or recent enough or even adequate to protect them.

I am not advising anyone else as to what to do.

I am in total agreement with this. As far as I see it, I have seen my doctor, he has evaluated me, and has determined there is no risk to me from diving. Therefore, my medical condition is no business of the dive ops unless I require special accomodations or considerations from them because of the condition.

The medical form is a liability protection for the dive op. Answering "no" says they did their due diligence and asked if you had any conditions that are a contra-indication to diving and you said you didn't. Which is true, your doctor said so.

Answering "yes" is just asking for trouble and for the shop/DM to second guess your doctor. Save them the stress, its the humanitarian thing to do:smiley36:

Of course as as Compudude said, "Never lie, it's bad". So, I am clearly giving you advice to be bad - you need to do what you think is right.

SkuaSeptember
05-19-2009, 16:56
As a diver I strongly believe that each is responsible for their own safety and well being and would probably put down the answers that would most likely get me on the boat with no hassles.
As an instructor with duty of care I would rather know the truth and have the liability release and medical form in hand. Based on the release and a conversation with the diver I would still reserve the right to say no. After all, if someone in my care is in trouble, I am also likely to be in a measure of danger if a problem presents itself.
The friends you mention remind me that the first rescue I ever had to do was of an in control diabetic diving with medical approval. The diabetic was also an MD. The story has a happy ending but just goes to show that things can go bad regardless of how much informed medical advice you have to work with.

cruzan
05-19-2009, 17:21
If you have a medical release don't tell them that you have a problem.

The only time my husband or I would inform a shop of a problem is when we know that there is a high likelihood of strong currents. My husband periodically loses the use of his legs due to a sever back injury. He has been fully trained and is very comfortable in all conditions when this happens; but feels it is best to inform operators of potential problems such as this. He has never been turned away from any dive yet however he has been asked to prove ability on some more challenging dives.


I've never been ask for a medical release from a dive shop except when taking a course. I have been ask for one by a cruise line when booking dives through them. I had a signed medical form with me from the doctor, which I have him sign every year at annual physical time. No problems. I've been on a lot of dives, with a lot of ops, in many areas of the world and again, never ask for a medical form. This was way before becoming an Instructor also, so that had no bearing on it. As a matter of fact, I rarely present my Instructor card when diving for fun, I use Rescue and/or nitrox. Mainly to avoid working while on 'vacation.'

CompuDude
05-19-2009, 17:32
If a doctor has given a release to dive, I do believe that you can honestly sign any waiver that asks: "Do you have any medical conditions that preclude you from diving?" with a respounding "NO!"

The problem is, that's not usually the question on the form. It's more often: Have you EVER been diagnosed with [condition x]?" Sometimes, but less frequently, it's restricted to the past x number of years.

Either way, at that point, you have no choice but to lie, or tell the truth.

gee
05-19-2009, 20:19
Hmm. It seems the choice is between telling the truth and lying. To get at an answer to issues like this involves asking myself two questions: "What would my mother and father want me to do?" and "what do I tell my children?" The answer to the first changes, but I tell my children the same thing. "Do the right thing."and then add, "You know what the right thing is."

Coastie6
05-19-2009, 20:31
My $.02 on the issue:

If a doctor has given a release to dive, I do believe that you can honestly sign any waiver that asks: "Do you have any medical conditions that preclude you from diving?" with a respounding "NO!"

To the OP, even though your friend's daughter has dibatetes, she has a release from her physcian. The release means that her condition does not preclude her from diving. That goes for a diver I know with hypertension. He takes meds that keep it under control, he has seen a doctor that has given his blessings and the medications he's on pose no threat while diving. So he answers no on the releases with no remorse afterwards.

I believe that one should stay offthe radar so to speak whenever possible.


I agree, she is medically cleared for the type of diving she is engaging, thus she has no medical problem worthy of mentioning. Don't see this as being untruthful at all.

IndyDiver
05-19-2009, 21:06
Hmm. It seems the choice is between telling the truth and lying. To get at an answer to issues like this involves asking myself two questions: "What would my mother and father want me to do?" and "what do I tell my children?" The answer to the first changes, but I tell my children the same thing. "Do the right thing."and then add, "You know what the right thing is."

I think this is good advice to follow. The problem is that what I "know" to be the "right" thing can change over time based on my experience. In the case of the OP, if I was diving the first time I would probably think the right thing to do would be to tell the simple truth. If the owner/DM then wouldn't let me dive because they didn't want to take any chances and were afraid of the increased liability, that would affect my decision the next time. I think the unfairness of my diving being being ruined by someone wanting to cover their butt would make me change my idea of what is "right". I feel my obligation is to get sound medical advice and clearance, not help someone cover their butt at my expense.

I don't want to paint with too broad of a brush, but I feel that 99% of the shops out there only have these forms because their lawyers told them they needed them for liability protection.

JCAT
05-20-2009, 04:07
SBelle (http://forum.scubatoys.com/../members/sbelle.html),

I have inherited High Blood Pressure, take one pill in A.M to control it. If you have a doctors release, I don't see where a Dive OP would have a problem. If they do, maybe you should ask to see their medical school diploma.:smiley2:

navyhmc
05-20-2009, 04:21
Totally agree with Jcat, but I still look for answering no.

Coastie6
05-20-2009, 05:58
Unfortunately most things today operate on CYA decisions, even if they aren't warranted. The Chif is right, you may still get a no. Guess you could bring your business elsewhere, but in some markets your options may be very limited.

SBelle
05-20-2009, 13:44
Lots of good input -- thanks!

I agree with the thinking that provided as I'm comfortable with my abilities in the conditions I'm planning to dive in, and provided my doctor has cleared me, then I'm good to go.

If the question of the dive op's release form is, "do you have any condition that preclude you from diving", I could easily and honestly answer no, but if the question is "are you taking any prescription medications", (which is a question on a form I'm looking at from a dive op in CZM), then it gets tougher.

The struggle is that I want to be able to be truthful on those forms, especially since my 17 year old son is usually with me, and I don't want to compromise what I've been trying to teach him all his life. However, the main reason we're spending the money to go to Cozumel is to dive, and who want's to deal with hassles that might come up.

I know there is no black and white answer here, but great discussion. Thanks again.

CompuDude
05-20-2009, 14:13
Lots of good input -- thanks!

I agree with the thinking that provided as I'm comfortable with my abilities in the conditions I'm planning to dive in, and provided my doctor has cleared me, then I'm good to go.

If the question of the dive op's release form is, "do you have any condition that preclude you from diving", I could easily and honestly answer no, but if the question is "are you taking any prescription medications", (which is a question on a form I'm looking at from a dive op in CZM), then it gets tougher.

The struggle is that I want to be able to be truthful on those forms, especially since my 17 year old son is usually with me, and I don't want to compromise what I've been trying to teach him all his life. However, the main reason we're spending the money to go to Cozumel is to dive, and who want's to deal with hassles that might come up.

I know there is no black and white answer here, but great discussion. Thanks again.

1) Make a new email account on Yahoo or gmail or something.

2) Email an inquiry to the dive op you are considering, explaining your condition and assuring them you have doctor's clearance (in writing) and ask them if there is ANY chance that they would stop you from diving. Get the answer in writing, explicit permission from the shop, and chances are everything will be fine if answer truthfully on the form. Print their permission email and bring it with you, of course.

3) If they say there IS a chance, and they would let the DM make the call, yadda yadda, you have your answer. As long as they don't have your name or real email to associate with you, they'll have no way of knowing it was you that asked the question, when you eventually turn up there.

IndyDiver
05-20-2009, 14:17
1) Make a new email account on Yahoo or gmail or something.

2) Email an inquiry to the dive op you are considering, explaining your condition and assuring them you have doctor's clearance (in writing) and ask them if there is ANY chance that they would stop you from diving. Get the answer in writing, explicit permission from the shop, and chances are everything will be fine if answer truthfully on the form. Print their permission email and bring it with you, of course.

3) If they say there IS a chance, and they would let the DM make the call, yadda yadda, you have your answer. As long as they don't have your name or real email to associate with you, they'll have no way of knowing it was you that asked the question, when you eventually turn up there.

No, he is not in the CIA; but he did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. :smiley15:

CompuDude
05-20-2009, 14:32
1) Make a new email account on Yahoo or gmail or something.

2) Email an inquiry to the dive op you are considering, explaining your condition and assuring them you have doctor's clearance (in writing) and ask them if there is ANY chance that they would stop you from diving. Get the answer in writing, explicit permission from the shop, and chances are everything will be fine if answer truthfully on the form. Print their permission email and bring it with you, of course.

3) If they say there IS a chance, and they would let the DM make the call, yadda yadda, you have your answer. As long as they don't have your name or real email to associate with you, they'll have no way of knowing it was you that asked the question, when you eventually turn up there.

No, he is not in the CIA; but he did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night. :smiley15:

LOL

Normally I would phone in a question like this. Quite easy to remain anonymous. But since (a) we want the answer in writing, and (b) it's in MX and thus an international call, this seems like a simple way to get the job done. ;)

navyhmc
05-20-2009, 14:55
Lots of good input -- thanks!

I agree with the thinking that provided as I'm comfortable with my abilities in the conditions I'm planning to dive in, and provided my doctor has cleared me, then I'm good to go.

If the question of the dive op's release form is, "do you have any condition that preclude you from diving", I could easily and honestly answer no, but if the question is "are you taking any prescription medications", (which is a question on a form I'm looking at from a dive op in CZM), then it gets tougher.

The struggle is that I want to be able to be truthful on those forms, especially since my 17 year old son is usually with me, and I don't want to compromise what I've been trying to teach him all his life. However, the main reason we're spending the money to go to Cozumel is to dive, and who want's to deal with hassles that might come up.

I know there is no black and white answer here, but great discussion. Thanks again.

I understand the honesty issue. As far as answering the question of "Are you taking any prescription medications?" I will usually answer "No" as well. In all honesty if I have no conditions that will keep me from diving, it's none of thier business and I don't wish to parade that list out there. If you want an honest answer, the answer is "None that preclude me from diving."

starfish sandy
05-20-2009, 18:48
Lots of good input -- thanks!

I agree with the thinking that provided as I'm comfortable with my abilities in the conditions I'm planning to dive in, and provided my doctor has cleared me, then I'm good to go.

If the question of the dive op's release form is, "do you have any condition that preclude you from diving", I could easily and honestly answer no, but if the question is "are you taking any prescription medications", (which is a question on a form I'm looking at from a dive op in CZM), then it gets tougher.

The struggle is that I want to be able to be truthful on those forms, especially since my 17 year old son is usually with me, and I don't want to compromise what I've been trying to teach him all his life. However, the main reason we're spending the money to go to Cozumel is to dive, and who want's to deal with hassles that might come up.

I know there is no black and white answer here, but great discussion. Thanks again.

1) Make a new email account on Yahoo or gmail or something.

2) Email an inquiry to the dive op you are considering, explaining your condition and assuring them you have doctor's clearance (in writing) and ask them if there is ANY chance that they would stop you from diving. Get the answer in writing, explicit permission from the shop, and chances are everything will be fine if answer truthfully on the form. Print their permission email and bring it with you, of course.

3) If they say there IS a chance, and they would let the DM make the call, yadda yadda, you have your answer. As long as they don't have your name or real email to associate with you, they'll have no way of knowing it was you that asked the question, when you eventually turn up there.



This is exactly what I do. I am a type 1 insulin dep. diabetic and have been for over 40 years. I run in to the release issue all the time - and my concern is if I don't tell the dive op, DM etc - what if something goes wrong?? My husband and all my dive buddies all know what to do if something goes wrong - but what if by chance they are not there when something happens? I want to get the quickest medical care I can :)

We had booked a trip to the Great Barrier Reef in 07. The Aussies are very strict on diabetics and diving and I am alway up front about my diabetes - we found a live a board who said - sure we'll take you - just bring your meds. About 3 months prior to the trip date, I emailed (forwarded the same email where they said "sure") the company - just to make sure..........the response back was - sorry - you can't dive unless an Aussie doc signs off. Well, let me tell you - NO DOCTOR would sign off on my release - I emailed the board of directors of SPUMS (South Pacific Underwater Medical Society............) sent each one the same email - outlinging my diabetes, testing, etc - and not one came back and said they would do the release or even send me to someone that would. One director's email simply said "cancel your trip" - I still have the email! :) Luckily we were able to change our plans and were able to spend a week in Sydney and then fly over to Fiji to dive. I am also lucky that I have some great friends who canceled their trip on that boat and went to Fiji with us.

Sorry for the rant :) Ever since that experience I email the company from my home email and ask about any issues with diabetes. So far.......so good.

Good luck!

divechaplain-sara
06-09-2009, 04:30
Lots of good input -- thanks!

I agree with the thinking that provided as I'm comfortable with my abilities in the conditions I'm planning to dive in, and provided my doctor has cleared me, then I'm good to go.

If the question of the dive op's release form is, "do you have any condition that preclude you from diving", I could easily and honestly answer no, but if the question is "are you taking any prescription medications", (which is a question on a form I'm looking at from a dive op in CZM), then it gets tougher.

The struggle is that I want to be able to be truthful on those forms, especially since my 17 year old son is usually with me, and I don't want to compromise what I've been trying to teach him all his life. However, the main reason we're spending the money to go to Cozumel is to dive, and who want's to deal with hassles that might come up.

I know there is no black and white answer here, but great discussion. Thanks again.

Asking what medications you are taking isn't just about a dive operator wanting to CYA. If you were to have a medical emergency and couldn't talk, it would be important for the people taking care of you to be able to know what meds you are on. You wouldn't want them to give you something that caused an adverse reaction with what you are already taking.

I remember a patient coming into the hospital who had Overdosed. The family member/friend that was with him said that he had just taken some tylenol. An hour later, the truth came out that the patient had swallowed a large quantity of crack when a police officer had pulled him over for speeding. The friend said the patient had insisted that no one be told what he had swallowed. The friend waited until he thought it would be too late to pump the patient's stomach and have any "evidence" of the illegal drug. Trust me when I say the ER staff get really mad when you give them misinformation.

mcr0112
06-09-2009, 19:52
Last year I was sent to a local doctor after telling the dive op that I took medicine for blood pressure. the doctor let me dive but with restrictions. My own doctor is a diver and told me afterwards to not tell them anything. He had signed a med release before I went and the local op wouldn't accept it. this was in the red sea.

bennerman
06-09-2009, 20:00
I just got my ok from the doctor, which suprised the hell out of me! I have asthma, behavioural problems, take prescription medication, and God knows I am very de-excercised

jet126
06-10-2009, 08:17
If I could add my $.02 cents:

We all know anyone for any reason at any time can call a dive. This goes doubly if you're diving with a medical condition. Your doc can clear you, you can lie (or not) on your release forms but bottom line: YOU are responsible for yourself. If conditions are such that you risk your own or your fellow divers safety, or even just their good time, sit that dive out.

Always be aware of your limitations and ALWAYS be considerate of your fellow divers. I dive with what is usually considered an absolute contra-indicator. I would never jeopardize someone else's vacation because I took a risk I knew in my heart I shouldn't have. Then again, I'm a "half-full" kind of gal ... I'll happily dive the dives I can. And just as happily sit out if I need to. There's always next time.

chinacat46
06-10-2009, 09:29
If I could add my $.02 cents:

We all know anyone for any reason at any time can call a dive. This goes doubly if you're diving with a medical condition. Your doc can clear you, you can lie (or not) on your release forms but bottom line: YOU are responsible for yourself. If conditions are such that you risk your own or your fellow divers safety, or even just their good time, sit that dive out.

Always be aware of your limitations and ALWAYS be considerate of your fellow divers. I dive with what is usually considered an absolute contra-indicator. I would never jeopardize someone else's vacation because I took a risk I knew in my heart I shouldn't have. Then again, I'm a "half-full" kind of gal ... I'll happily dive the dives I can. And just as happily sit out if I need to. There's always next time.

No worries Joanie I'd dive with you anytime.

Hey only 200 more posts and you get your $50 gift certificate.

jet126
06-10-2009, 10:27
Aww ... thanks Chuck. That's cause you know in spite of my other "medical condition" of being blond, I keep my wits about me.

navyhmc
06-10-2009, 16:00
I will say that if I'm buddied up with someone on a trip that has a problem such as type I diabetes, I would like to know so I can help keep an eye out on them. That and if they have a problem, I know what to do to help.

Glub000
06-10-2009, 20:35
When my kids and I went to Mexico three years ago to dive, my daughter answered yes to a question on asthma. Our doctor said she was fine to dive but the dive shop wouldn't accept his form. We had to see their local doctor. He took her blood pressure, charged us $80 and signed the form. Never even checked her breathing. Total scam.

scubamike01
06-22-2009, 19:13
Im a diabetic and always tell the DM about it just in case. I have never had a problem with it but always dive in the US.

WaScubaDude
06-22-2009, 19:48
First time i encountered "the form" was in Jamaica, the shop op saw me pause at one of the questions, he said quietly to me "if there is an x in any yes box there will be an issue." i checked "NO problem mon" on every box and had a wonderful time diving.

Be smart, take responsibility for your own safety and well being and make it clear to your family and loved ones that under almost no circumstances are they to sue a dive op on your behalf. Unless they leave me out for three days to be eaten by sharks!:smilie39:

If I die diving, I will have died doing what I love.:smiley19:

SBelle
06-23-2009, 14:49
... after a couple of years of hassle free diving, I now find myself with pre-hypertension, and am now taking a prescription med for high blood pressure. I plan to download the PADI medical release form and get my doc to sign it -- he already said diving was no problem, and that he would sign the form. I'm off to Cozumel in July with several diving friends, including the two described above, and I guess we're a little gun-shy after the girl's last experience.


A month ago, I wrote the text quoted above as the opening post on this thread. Check this -- after taking the meds for three weeks, I went to La Peuerta, Mexico (near Ixtapa) on a church mission trip. Because of the routine change, and the fact that I hadn't formed the pill-popping habit after only three weeks, I forgot to take the meds while there. The interesting thing is that there was also a doctor on this trip with us, and I checked my BP with him a couple of times. It was just fine. Upon seeing that, I intentionally didn't take the meds, just to see what my BP would do.

After I got back home, I intentionally stayed off the meds, and I had a follow-up appointment with my own doctor. The BP that day was also great. My doc was a little surprised when I told him I hadn't take the meds in almost 10 days at that point. He told me as long as the BP stayed in that range, I didn't have to take the meds.

We'll see how long it lasts. I'm watching to see if it'w work related stress that was the cause; after a week and a half back at work, I'm still doing good. I've been checking it every couple of days at with the company nurse.

Maybe the few weeks of meds was the chemical equivalent of smacking things back into place!

I did have one free day at the end of the trip Mexico, and four of us on the trip did go diving. By that day of the trip, I was not taking meds and my BP was in the healthy range, so there were no concerns at all about completing the dive op's paperwork truthfully.

3 weeks until departure to Cozumel!

navyhmc
06-23-2009, 15:20
Keep checking the BP's even if you're taken off the meds for good. There's a reason why High BP is called the silent killer. Glad it's working out for you!

Suther2136
07-17-2009, 20:59
Anyone ever been denied the dive due to a medical condition for which you had a doctor's release?

I have a certified friend who has a certified daughter that has diabetes. She has it under control and has a written medical release from her doctor saying recreational diving is ok. There has been one occasion where the shop crew gave the OK, but when they got on site, the DM wouldn't let her dive. Pretty frustrating.

I ask because after a couple of years of hassle free diving, I now find myself with pre-hypertension, and am now taking a prescription med for high blood pressure. I plan to download the PADI medical release form and get my doc to sign it -- he already said diving was no problem, and that he would sign the form. I'm off to Cozumel in July with several diving friends, including the two described above, and I guess we're a little gun-shy after the girl's last experience.

I want to be able to answer questions on a dive shop's release form truthfully, but on the other hand I don't want to be denied the dive due to a condition that is under control and for which I have a medical release. I've searched the forum and there seems to be a split on how to answer the questions on a dive outfit's form. While everyone seems to agree that there should be no diving without your doc's release (if it applies), some people seem to say to always be truthful on the dive shop's release form, and others say to fudge the truth to avoid any questions that could deny the dive.

I'm just looking to see if anyone with a medical condition has been truthful with a dive shop's questions, and then been denied service, even though your own doctor said all was OK.

I was just curious, who certified this person as your friend? I have lots of friends but never considered having certified friends.... now the concept of having my kids certified as mine is really interesting :)