Assembly Committee Weighs Revisions to Autopsy Law
The Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday was scheduled to debate a bill by Assembly member Gene Mullin (D-San Mateo) that would require medical examiners and coroners to notify family members when they retain organs after an autopsy, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The legislation also would require coroners to:
- Notify family members about which parts of the body are removed;
- Obtain permission from next of kin while medical examiners determine the cause, manner, mode and circumstances of certain deaths; and
- Offer to return organs after they have made such a determination.
The measure exempts criminal investigations and situations in which returning an organ may create a health hazard, such as an infected organ.
The California State Coroner's Association and the California District Attorneys Association oppose the bill, saying that it could interfere with criminal investigations (Hua, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/17). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.