What Constitutes an Invalid "Blanket Consent" Within the Purview of Illinois' Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act?
Fischer, Jana L.
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Illinois' Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Confidentiality Act, 740 Ill. Comp. Stat. 110/1 (2000), prohibits "blanket consent" to the disclosure of mental health and developmental disabilities treatment records. This Comment argues that Illinois' Confidentiality Act inadequately defines "blanket consent" so as to ensure that an authorization for the disclosure of mental health records is obtained on an informed and consensual basis. This is especially so where a recipient's authorization results in the unintended release of information not thought to be contained in the records. The purpose of this Comment is to suggest that the Illinois legislature should look to the doctrine of informed consent in implementing an operational definition of "blanket consent" in order to make certain that the confidentiality and autonomy rights of recipients include the right to make well-informed decisions in authorizing the disclosure of their mental health records.