Tim Hull reports:
Federal law gives an Indiana agency that advocates for the mentally ill access to its client’s hospital records, the 7th circuit ruled.
The Chicago-based court of appeals, sitting en banc, found that a hospital must give Indiana Protection and Advocacy Services access to patient records under the federal Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act of 1986.
If the hospital fails to comply, the agency can sue in federal court without running afoul of the Eleventh Amendment, the circuit found.
The full 7th Circuit ruled 8-1 to uphold a district court ruling, while reversing a decision by its own three-judge panel.
Larue Carter Memorial Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Indianapolis, denied the agency’s request to see patient records after the death of one patient and allegations of abuse of another.