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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Are burial records from a psychiatric hospital cemetery public record?

The Nebraska Supreme Court will decide on this question, the AP reported. Although HIPAA protects medical data, death records are considered public records in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Supreme Court will determine whether people buried in a former psychiatric hospital cemetery took their right to privacy to the grave with them.

The Adams County Historical Society wants names of the 957 people buried in the Hastings Regional Center cemetery between 1909 and 1957 made public.
The state has maintained that the federal medical privacy law prohibits the release of the names.
More here.

1 comment:

Melinda Hunt said...

They are not confidential in New York State. The public has a right to know where people are once they have died.

I am creating a database of public burial records in New York City obtained through New York State Freedom of Information Law from the Department of Correction. A colleague has done this for all potter's field throughout New York State including the psychiatric hospitals.