By David Tuller, DrPH
Yesterday, I posted my exchange with a spokeswoman for Hennepin Healthcare about Thane Fredrickson, the ME/CFS patient who is under threat of involuntary psychiatric commitment. Today, Northwestern University law professor Steven Lubet, e-mailed her the following letter.
Dear Ms. Hill: I am a law professor at Northwestern University in Chicago, and I often write articles, for both scholarly and popular publications, about the legal issues relating to ME/CFS. I understand that Hennepin Healthcare has recently referred an ME/CFS patient for involuntary psychiatric commitment, and I have some questions for you. As a law professor, I am fully aware of HIPAA and other privacy requirements. Please be assured that my questions are general, so you may answer without regard to an identified patient:
Does Hennepin Healthcare have written guidelines, procedures, or protocols regarding the referral of patients for involuntary psychiatric commitment? If so, kindly provide me with a copy, or direct me to a website where they are accessible.
Have any Hennepin Healthcare physicians or other professionals participated, within the past five years, in CME courses or in-service training regarding ME/CFS? If so, kindly provide me with any materials for such CME or training, or direct me to a website where information is available.
Are there any physicians or other professionals on staff at Hennepin Healthcare (or otherwise affiliated) who specialize in ME/CFS? If so, kindly provide me with their names and contact information.
Again, I am not requesting any patient-specific information, but only general information about procedures and experience at Hennepin Healthcare.
Thanks in advance for your responses, and kindly let me know if I can clarify any of my questions.
Steven Lubet (he/him)
Williams Memorial Professor
Director, Bartlit Center for Trial Advocacy
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law