Kahn, a state lawmaker for 40 years, has a background in biophysics and a reputation for longshot legislation. Some of her past proposals have included a push to lower the voting age to 12 and to make the Minnesota Twins publicly owned. Given that Gehrig attended Columbia University, Kahn said, he clearly had a good education and a lot of intellectual curiosity.
"It seems to me that if he were alive he would be authorizing it," Kahn said.
Gehrig biographer Jonathan Eig thinks so, too.
Eig said he tried unsuccessfully to get Gehrig's medical records while researching his 2005 book "Luckiest Man," but said he was able to interview Mayo Clinic doctors who saw the records, including one who knew a doctor who treated Gehrig. He said they confirmed that the ballplayer had the classic symptoms of ALS.
Gehrig was a strong supporter of ALS research, Eig said, and submitted himself to all kinds of experiments. And since Gehrig is still the ultimate symbol of ALS, he said, opening up the files would help the public learn more about the disease, even if they don't prove anything about his potential head injuries.
"My hunch is that he would be all in favor of public disclosure," Eig said.
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