I was able to get the records for my great aunt who died in the Worcester State Hospital. I have detailed that journey here in the forums. Search for my posts by my name. Some laws may have changed since then, HIPPA, etc. and it probably helped that I am a resident of MA. In a nutshell, I needed her death certificate which I obtained from the Worcester City Hall, then went to the courthouse, filled out paperwork requesting to be appointed voluntary administrator of her estate, saying that there were no bills to be paid and that I was requesting medical records only. This was approved within minutes, literally. I then just had to send those appointment papers to the Worcester Hospital and within 6 weeks had a copy of her hospital records, including a photo they had taken of her upon admittance. Her admission info was a treasure trove of genealogical info since she was admitted by her brother who gave a family history. This was all done without a lawyer and cost me, if I remember correctly, about $135. I also recently called the Worcester Hospital for someone else and asked if the records were being destroyed. I was told they are not. Good luck and don't give up!