language to be deleted (2) new language
relating to public safety; providing for religious objections to autopsies in certain cases;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2014, sections 390.005, by adding a subdivision; 390.11, subdivisions 1, 2, by adding a subdivision; 390.32, subdivisions 2, 3.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
All sudden or unexpected deaths and all deaths that may be due entirely or in part to any factor other than natural disease processes must be promptly reported to the coroner or medical examiner for evaluation. Sufficient information must be provided to the coroner or medical examiner. Reportable deaths include, but are not limited to:
(1) unnatural deaths, including violent deaths arising from homicide, suicide, or accident;
(2) deaths due to a fire or associated with burns or chemical, electrical, or radiation injury;
(3) unexplained or unexpected perinatal and postpartum maternal deaths;
(4) deaths under suspicious, unusual, or unexpected circumstances;
(5) deaths of persons whose bodies are to be cremated or otherwise disposed of so that the bodies will later be unavailable for examination;
(6) deaths of inmates of public institutions and persons in custody of law enforcement officers who have not been hospitalized primarily for organic disease;
(7) deaths that occur during, in association with, or as the result of diagnostic, therapeutic, or anesthetic procedures;
(8) deaths due to culpable neglect;
(9) stillbirths of 20 weeks or longer gestation unattended by a physician;
(10) sudden deaths of persons not affected by recognizable disease;
(11) unexpected deaths of persons notwithstanding a history of underlying disease;
(12) deaths in which a fracture of a major bone such as a femur, humerus, or tibia has occurred within the past six months;
(13) deaths unattended by a physician occurring outside of a licensed health care facility or licensed residential hospice program;
(14) deaths of persons not seen by their physician within 120 days of demise;
(15) deaths of persons occurring in an emergency department;
(16) stillbirths or deaths of newborn infants in which there has been maternal use of or exposure to unprescribed controlled substances including street drugs or in which there is history or evidence of maternal trauma;
(17) unexpected deaths of children;
(18) solid organ donors;
(19) unidentified bodies;
(20) skeletonized remains;
(21) deaths occurring within 24 hours of arrival at a health care facility if death is unexpected;
(22) deaths associated with the decedent's employment;
(23) deaths of nonregistered hospice patients or patients in nonlicensed hospice programs; and
(24) deaths attributable to acts of terrorism.
The coroner or medical examiner shall determine the extent of the coroner's or medical examiner's investigation, including whether additional investigation is needed by the coroner or medical examiner, jurisdiction is assumed, or an autopsy will be performed, notwithstanding any other statute.
the coroner or medical examiner may order an autopsy, at the coroner or medical examiner's sole discretion, in the case of any human death referred to in subdivision 1, when, in the judgment of the coroner or medical examiner the public interest would be served by an autopsy. The autopsy shall be performed without unnecessary delay. A report of the facts developed by the autopsy and findings of the person performing the autopsy shall be made promptly and filed in the office of the coroner or medical examiner. When further investigation is deemed advisable, a copy of the report shall be delivered to the county attorney. Every autopsy performed pursuant to this subdivision shall, whenever practical, be performed in the county morgue. Nothing herein shall require the coroner or medical examiner to order an autopsy upon the body of a deceased person if the person died of known or ascertainable causes or had been under the care of a licensed physician immediately prior to death or if the coroner or medical examiner determines the autopsy to be unnecessary.
Autopsies performed pursuant to this subdivision may include the removal, retention, testing, or use of organs, parts of organs, fluids or tissues, at the discretion of the coroner or medical examiner, when removal, retention, testing, or use may be useful in determining or confirming the cause of death, mechanism of death, manner of death, identification of the deceased, presence of disease or injury, or preservation of evidence. Such tissue retained by the coroner or medical examiner pursuant to this subdivision shall be disposed of in accordance with standard biohazardous hospital or surgical material and does not require specific consent or notification of the legal next of kin. When removal, retention, testing, and use of organs, parts of organs, fluids, or tissues is deemed beneficial, and is done only for research or the advancement of medical knowledge and progress, written consent or documented oral consent shall be obtained from the legal next of kin, if any, of the deceased person prior to the removal, retention, testing, or use.
the medical examiner may conduct an autopsy in the case of any human death of any type referred to in subdivision 1, clause (1) or (2), when in the judgment of the medical examiner the public interest requires an autopsy.
the medical examiner may conduct an autopsy in the case of any human death of any type referred to in subdivision 1, clause (3) or (4), or may exhume any human body and perform an autopsy in the case of any human death of any type referred to in subdivision 1 when in the judgment of the medical examiner the public interest requires an autopsy. No such autopsy shall be conducted unless the surviving spouse, or next of kin if there is no surviving spouse, consents, or unless the district court of the county where the body is located or buried, upon notice as the court directs, enters its order authorizing an autopsy or an exhumation and autopsy. Application for an order may be made by the medical examiner or the county attorney of the county where the body is located or buried, upon a showing that the court deems appropriate.
Presented to the governor May 18, 2015
Signed by the governor May 19, 2015, 4:01 p.m.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes