Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 200 – Infant death, unexplained, autopsy
HOUSE BILL NO. 200
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H0200....................................................by HEALTH AND WELFARE
INFANT DEATH - Amends existing law to require an autopsy under specified
conditions of unexplained infant death; and to govern registration of deaths
believed to be the result of SIDS.
02/07 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/10 Rpt prt - to Health/Wel
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-seventh Legislature First Regular Session - 2003
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 200
BY HEALTH AND WELFARE COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO INVESTIGATIONS OF DEATHS; AMENDING SECTION 19-4301, IDAHO CODE, TO
3 REQUIRE AN AUTOPSY UNDER SPECIFIED CONDITIONS OF UNEXPLAINED INFANT DEATH
4 AND TO MAKE A TECHNICAL CORRECTION; AND AMENDING SECTION 39-260, IDAHO
5 CODE, TO GOVERN REGISTRATION OF DEATHS BELIEVED TO BE THE RESULT OF SUDDEN
6 INFANT DEATH SYNDROME.
7 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
8 SECTION 1. That Section 19-4301, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
9 amended to read as follows:
10 19-4301. CORONER TO INVESTIGATE DEATHS. (1) When a coroner is informed
11 that a person in his county has died:
12 (a) As a result of violence whether apparently homicidal, suicidal or
13 accidental, or
14 (b) Under suspicious or unknown circumstances, or
15 (c) When not attended by a physician during his last illness and the
16 cause of death cannot be certified by a physician, the coroner must refer
17 the investigation of the death to the sheriff of the county or the chief
18 of police of the city in which the incident causing death occurred; or, if
19 unknown, then in which the death occurred; or, if unknown, then in which
20 the body is found. The investigation shall be the responsibility of said
21 officer who, upon completion of his investigation, shall furnish a written
22 report of the result of such investigation to said coroner. The coroner of
23 said county must refer said case to the coroner of the county in which the
24 incident causing death occurred, if known, or if unknown, then in which
25 the death occurred, if known, to hold an inquest. Provided, however, that
26 a coroner shall conduct an inquest only if he has reasonable grounds to
27 believe that the death has occurred under any of the circumstances hereto-
28 fore stated in section s 19-4301(a) or 19-4301(b), Idaho Code. If so, he
29 may summon six (6) persons qualified by law to serve as jurors to appear
30 before him to hold said inquest.
31 (2) When an infant under one (1) year of age has died suddenly and unex-
32 pectedly and the circumstances concerning the death are unexplained, an
33 autopsy shall be performed by a physician licensed to practice medicine in all
34 of its branches who has special training in pathology.
35 Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the tenets of any
36 church or religious belief.
37 SECTION 2. That Section 39-260, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
38 amended to read as follows:
39 39-260. REGISTRATION OF DEATHS AND STILLBIRTHS. (a) A certificate of each
40 death which occurs in this state shall be filed with the local registrar of
41 the district in which the death occurs, or as otherwise directed by the state
1 registrar, within five (5) days after the occurrence. However, the board
2 shall, by rule and upon such conditions as it may prescribe to assure compli-
3 ance with the purposes of the vital statistics act, provide for the filing of
4 death certificates without medical certifications of cause of death in cases
5 in which compliance with the applicable prescribed period would result in
6 undue hardship; but provided, however, that medical certifications of cause of
7 death shall be provided by the certifying physician or coroner to the vital
8 statistics unit within fifteen (15) days from the filing of the death certifi-
9 cate. No certificate shall be deemed complete until every item of information
10 required shall have been provided or its omission satisfactorily accounted
11 for. When death occurs in a moving conveyance in the United States and the
12 body is first removed from the conveyance in this state, the death shall be
13 registered in this state and the place where the body is first removed shall
14 be considered the place of death. When a death occurs on a moving conveyance
15 while in international air space or in a foreign country or its air space and
16 the body is first removed from the conveyance in this state, the death shall
17 be registered in this state but the certificate shall show the actual place of
18 death insofar as can be determined. If the place of death is unknown but the
19 dead body is found in this state, the certificate of death shall be completed
20 and filed in accordance with this section. The place where the body is found
21 shall be shown as the place of death. If the date of death is unknown, it
22 shall be determined by approximation.
23 The person in charge of interment or of removal of the body from the dis-
24 trict shall be responsible for obtaining and filing the certificate. Said per-
25 son shall obtain the required information from the following persons, over
26 their respective signatures:
27 (1) Personal data shall be supplied by the person best qualified to sup-
28 ply them; and
29 (2) Except as otherwise provided, medical data shall be supplied by the
30 physician who attended the deceased during the last illness, who shall
31 certify to the cause of death according to his best knowledge, information
32 and belief within seventy-two (72) hours from time of death. In the
33 absence of the attending physician or with said physician's approval the
34 certificate may be completed and signed by said physician's associate phy-
35 sician, the chief medical officer of the institution in which death
36 occurred, or the physician who performed an autopsy upon the decedent,
37 provided such individual has access to the medical history of the case,
38 views the deceased at or after death, and death is due to natural causes.
39 (b) The person in charge of interment or of removal of the body from the
40 district shall refer the following cases to the coroner who shall make an
41 immediate investigation, supply the necessary medical data, and certify to the
42 cause of death:
43 (1) When no physician was in attendance during the last illness of the
44 deceased; or
45 (2) When the circumstances suggest that the death occurred as a result of
46 other than natural causes.
47 (c) When a death is presumed to have occurred within this state but the
48 body cannot be located, a death certificate may be prepared by the state reg-
49 istrar upon receipt of an order of a court of record of this state, which
50 shall include the finding of facts required to complete the death certificate.
51 Such a death certificate shall be marked "presumptive" and shall show on its
52 face the date of registration and shall identify the court and the date of
54 (d) Each stillbirth, defined as a spontaneous fetal death of twenty (20)
55 completed weeks gestation or more, based on a clinical estimate of gestation,
1 or a weight of three hundred fifty (350) grams (twelve and thirty-five hun-
2 dredths (12.35) ounces) or more, which occurs in this state shall be regis-
3 tered on a certificate of stillbirth within five (5) days after delivery with
4 the local registrar of the district in which the stillbirth occurred. All
5 induced terminations of pregnancy shall be reported in the manner prescribed
6 in section 39-261, Idaho Code, and shall not be reported as stillbirths. No
7 certificate shall be deemed complete until every item of information required
8 shall have been provided or its omission satisfactorily accounted for.
9 (1) When a stillbirth occurs in an institution, the person in charge of
10 the institution or a designated representative shall prepare the certifi-
11 cate, obtain the signature of the physician in attendance (except as
12 otherwise provided in section 39-260(e), Idaho Code), who shall provide
13 the medical data, and forward the certificate to the mortician or person
14 acting as such. In the absence of the attending physician or with said
15 physician's approval the certificate may be completed and signed by said
16 physician's associate physician, the chief medical officer of the institu-
17 tion in which the stillbirth occurred, or the physician who performed an
18 autopsy on the stillborn fetus, provided such individual has access to the
19 medical history of the case and views the fetus at or after stillbirth.
20 The mortician or person acting as such shall provide the disposition
21 information and file the certificate with the local registrar.
22 (2) When a stillbirth occurs outside an institution, the mortician or
23 person acting as such shall complete the certificate, obtain the medical
24 data from and signature of the attendant at the stillbirth (except as
25 otherwise provided in section 39-260(e), Idaho Code), and file the certif-
26 icate. If the attendant at or immediately after the stillbirth is not a
27 physician, the coroner shall investigate and sign the certificate of
29 (3) When a stillbirth occurs in a moving conveyance in the United States
30 and the stillborn fetus is first removed from the conveyance in this
31 state, the stillbirth shall be registered in this state and the place
32 where the stillborn fetus is first removed shall be considered the place
33 of stillbirth. When a stillbirth occurs in a moving conveyance while in
34 international air space or in a foreign country or its air space and the
35 stillborn fetus is first removed from the conveyance in this state, the
36 stillbirth shall be registered in this state but the certificate shall
37 show the actual place of stillbirth insofar as can be determined.
38 (4) When a stillborn fetus is found in this state and the place of still-
39 birth is unknown, it shall be reported in this state. The place where the
40 stillborn fetus was found shall be considered the place of stillbirth.
41 (5) The name of the father shall be entered on the certificate of still-
42 birth as provided by section 39-255, Idaho Code.
43 (e) When the circumstances suggest that the stillbirth occurred as a
44 result of other than natural causes (excepting legally induced abortions, as
45 defined by section 39-241, Idaho Code), the local registrar shall refer the
46 case to the coroner in the county where the stillbirth occurred. Said coroner
47 shall make an immediate investigation, supply the necessary medical data, and
48 certify to the cause of stillbirth.
49 (f) When the circumstances suggest the death is the result of sudden
50 infant death syndrome (SIDS). The term SIDS means the sudden, unexpected death
51 of an infant under one (1) year of age which remains unexplained after a com-
52 plete autopsy, death scene investigation and review of the case history. A
53 report of the autopsy conducted pursuant to section 19-4301, Idaho Code, shall
54 be filed with the coroner, who shall certify to the cause of death.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of this legislation is to require that if a child
under the age of one year dies suddenly and unexpectedly and
sudden infant death syndrome (SIDs) is suspected, an autopsy is
to be performed.
The cost to the counties who currently do not perform autopsies
in suspected SIDs cases would be between $500 and $750 per case.
Name: Representative Margaret Henbest
Representative Bonnie Douglas
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 200