Section 24A. The commissioner may authorize or cause to be made scientific studies and research which have for their purpose the reduction of morbidity and mortality within the commonwealth.
All information, records of interviews, written reports, statements, notes, memoranda, or other data procured in connection with such scientific studies and research conducted by the department, or by other persons, agencies or organizations so authorized by the commissioner shall be confidential and shall be used solely for the purposes of medical or scientific research.
The furnishing of such information to the department or to the authorized representative of such an authorized study or research project, shall not subject any person, hospital, sanitarium, rest home, nursing home or other person or agency furnishing such information, to any action for damages or other relief.
Such information, records, reports, statements, notes, memoranda, or other data shall not be admissible as evidence in any action of any kind in any court or before any other tribunal, board, agency or person. Such information, records, reports, statements, notes, memoranda, or other data shall not be exhibited nor their contents disclosed in any way, in whole or in part, by any officer or representative of the department, nor by any other person, except as may be necessary for the purpose of furthering the study or research project to which they relate. No person participating in such an authorized study or research project shall disclose, in any manner, the information so obtained except in strict conformity with such research project. Any person who discloses such information in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of fifty dollars.