Whereas Federal census reports are unsealed for public viewing after 70 years, we the undersigned genealogists and family historians request that Michigan release patient records from the various Michigan-based mental institutions if and when over 70 years old, an ample amount of time to protect the confidential nature of the files.
As genealogists and family historians we have a basic right to view files pertaining to our respective families. Already in Michigan we have access to numerous death records archived and digitally made accessible through seekingmichigan.org.
We do hereby request that the aforementioned patient files be made accessible for viewing at the State Archives and/or digitally made accessible for viewing via seekingmichigan.org.
These patient files help genealogists and family historians to understand the nature of their "committed" family member so as to understand 1) why they were committed and 2) what treatment(s) the family member patient underwent and 3) what mental illness(es) may be genetic.