Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 515 – Deaths, certain, investigation
HOUSE BILL NO. 515
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H0515......................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
DEATHS - INVESTIGATION - Amends existing law to specify circumstances under
which deaths are to be investigated; and to provide the persons who may
order an autopsy to be performed.
01/31 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/01 Rpt prt - to St Aff
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-sixth Legislature Second Regular Session - 2002
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 515
BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO PERFORMANCE OF AUTOPSIES; AMENDING SECTION 19-4301, IDAHO CODE, TO
3 SPECIFY CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH GOVERN THE INVESTIGATION OF DEATHS; AND AMEND-
4 ING SECTION 19-4301B, IDAHO CODE, TO GOVERN THE REQUIREMENTS FOR PERFOR-
5 MANCE OF AUTOPSIES.
6 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
7 SECTION 1. That Section 19-4301, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
8 amended to read as follows:
9 19-4301. CORONER TO INVESTIGATE DEATHS TO BE INVESTIGATED. When a coroner
10 is informed that a person of a death that is in the public interest in his
11 county, has died: the coroner must refer the investigation of the death to the
12 sheriff of the county or the chief or police of the city in which the incident
13 causing death occurred; or, if unknown, then in which the death occurred. The
14 investigation shall be the responsibility of the officer who, upon completion
15 of his investigation, shall furnish a written report of the result of the
16 investigation to the coroner.
17 A death in the public interest includes, but is not limited to, any of the
19 (a) Death a As a result of violence whether apparently homicidal, suicidal
20 or accidental ,; or
21 (b) Death u Under suspicious or unknown circumstances ,; or
22 (c) Death w When not attended by a physician during his last illness and
23 the cause of death cannot be certified by a physician ,; or
24 (d) Death of a child under the age of three (3) years where the death
25 results from an unknown cause or where the circumstances surrounding the death
26 indicate that sudden infant death syndrome may be the cause of death; or
27 (e) Death while in the custody of or being taken into the custody of a
28 law enforcement agency or peace officer; or
29 (f) Death while incarcerated in a prison or jail or confined in a correc-
30 tional facility owned and operated by the state or a political subdivision of
31 the state.
32 the coroner must refer the investigation of the death to the sheriff of the
33 county or the chief of police of the city in which the incident causing death
34 occurred; or, if unknown, then in which the death occurred; or, if unknown,
35 then in which the body is found. The investigation shall be the responsibility
36 of said officer who, upon completion of his investigation, shall furnish a
37 written report of the result of such investigation to said coroner. The coro-
38 ner of said the county must refer said the case to the coroner of the county
39 in which the incident causing death occurred, if known, or if unknown, then in
40 which the death occurred, if known, to hold an inquest. Provided, however,
41 that a coroner shall conduct an inquest only if he has reasonable grounds to
42 believe that the death has occurred under any of the circumstances heretofore
43 stated in sections 19-4301(a) or 19-4301(b), Idaho Code. If so, he may summon
1 six (6) persons qualified by law to serve as jurors to appear before him to
2 hold said inquest.
3 In any case in which the death occurred as specified in subsection (d) of
4 this section, the coroner shall order an autopsy.
5 Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the tenets of any
6 church or religious belief.
7 SECTION 2. That Section 19-4301B, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
8 amended to read as follows:
9 19-4301B. PERFORMANCE OF AUTOPSIES. The coroner may, in the performance
10 of his duties under this chapter, summon a person authorized to practice medi-
11 cine and surgery in the state of Idaho to inspect the body and give a profes-
12 sional opinion as to the cause of death. The coroner or the prosecuting attor-
13 ney or the sheriff may also order an autopsy performed if it is deemed neces-
14 sary accurately and scientifically to determine the cause of death. When an
15 autopsy has been performed, pursuant to an order of a coroner, or a prosecut-
16 ing attorney, or a sheriff, no cause of action shall lie against any person,
17 firm or corporation for participating in or requesting such autopsy.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of this legislation is to delineate the circumstances
under which a coroner is to notify law enforcement officials of a
death in their jurisdiction which requires investigation.
No impact to the general fund.
Name: Rep. Margaret Henbest
Phone: (208) 332—1134
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 515