Health Law Reporter: Summer 2014

David Sontag, Jerry Tichner, and Meg Cosgrove
Co-editors, Health Law Reporter

Happy Summer! Jerry, David and I are excited to present the Summer edition of the Boston Bar Association’s Health Law Reporter. In this issue, Andrew Levine, Robert Blaisdell and Kate Harrell have authored the first in a two-part series on the medical use of marijuana and the legal issues associated with the registered marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts. As a follow up, our fall edition will focus on the physician-related issues including patient eligibility, the certification requirements, and patient rights and responsibilities following certification. In her thought-provoking article on the rights of parents with disabilities, Robyn Powell explores the significant legal, medical and familial resistance that certain disabled individuals continue to encounter when trying to become parents. To round out our lead articles, Samantha Morton, Kirsten Meisinger, M.D., and Deborah Durant explore the implications of patient-centered, accountable healthcare for the legal profession including the need for the legal community to expand the depth of our “lawyer’s toolbox” in order to remain effective advocates for our clients.

We are also very appreciative that Sarah Iselin, Senior Vice President of Strategy, Policy and Community Partnerships and Chief Strategy Officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, took the time to sit down with Margaret Schmid to discuss her role as a policymaker in Massachusetts including her recent position as a Special Assistant to Governor Deval Patrick tasked with overseeing the fixes to the Massachusetts Health Connector. Sarah offers some interesting insights into the current state of the Health Connector as well as future challenges in healthcare in Massachusetts.

This edition also includes a summary of several recent health law cases in Massachusetts: Walden Behavioral v. K.I., which is currently pending on appeal, held that the patient-psychotherapist privilege does not apply to civil commitment hearings; two cases that limit the kinds of decisions that a health care proxy is authorized to make on behalf of a principal, Johnson v. Kindred Healthcare, Inc. and Licata v. GGNSC Malden Dexter LLC; and Bryant v. Jackson, a case that addresses the intentional release of a patient’s HIV status by a hospital employee.

On a separate note, we also wanted to warmly welcome our new co-editor, Colin Zick, and our new peer review coordinator, Tad Heuer, both of Foley Hoag LLP. Colin and Tad bring years of experience and expertise to the Reporter and we are incredibly happy and lucky to have them join the team.

Read the full Summer 2014 Edition here.