The Globe’s narrative story about one man’s struggles with his mental health care is running this week. And the company that runs one of the hospitals where he was treated was not allowed to read it first.Last week:
A Suffolk Superior Court judge ruled Thursday that Steward Health Care System has no right to review the reporting or records collected by The Boston Globe for a yet-to-be-published article about a man’s journey through the mental health care system.
Judge Jeffrey Locke said the for-profit health care company may comment broadly to the newspaper and answer limited questions on the patient’s care without violating medical privacy laws.
Steward, in a suit filed against the Globe Wednesday, asked the court to permit release of the patient’s private medical records, which the company said it needed to rebut a Globe story that is scheduled to be published this weekend.
The hospital chain also served papers to the man profiled in the story. Read the full story above a full run-down of the legal contortions hospital lawyers performed to argue that they were not going after the patient or trying to repress the story.
This is more about more than a thin-skinned story subject. Health care reporters seeking comment or information for stories can come up against overly broad interpretations of patient privacy laws. Worth watching.
Finally, a question: What would The Cheescake Factory do?