Amended Provisions of Hospital Licensing Act Withstand Constitutional Muster

In Burger v. Lutheran General Hospital et al., No. 89643-644, 2001 WL 1243647 (Ill. S. Ct. Oct. 18, 2001), the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of section 6.17 of the Illinois Hospital Licensing Act, as amended by Public Act 91-526, which became effective in January 2000 and governs the protection of, and confidential access to, a hospital patient's medical records and information. The provisions were the subject of constitutional challenges in several separate proceedings that were consolidated by the Court. The Court held that the hotly debated provisions of section 6.17 do not violate the separation of powers clause; the patient's right to privacy; or the special legislation clause.