A Minnesota state legislator will introduce a bill on Monday that would permit the Mayo Clinic to release the medical records of Yankees great Lou Gehrig for medical review.
State Rep. Phyllis Kahn, who was born in Brooklyn, wants researchers to be able to look into whether concussions played a role in Gehrig's death which is now attributed to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease. She was inspired, in part, by a story in the New York Times last year, "Study Says Brain Trauma Can Mimic ALS." That story, which posited multiple concussions brought about a different fatal disease, mentioned that the Mayo Clinic, which treated Gehrig, wouldn't release the records and prohibited a doctor who examined them from talking to reporters.
If passed, the bill would change Minnesota state law to release medical records without consent if the person's been dead for at least 50 years, but they could be sealed if direct descendants object. Gehrig died childless.
Bill seeks release of Gehrig's records from Mayo Clinic [Post-Bulletin]