Alaska Legislature Passes New Autopsy Legislation

by Ben Matheson on April 11, 2014

The Alaska Legislature has passed a bill that changes how rural families deal with the Medical Examiner’s office when a loved one is sent to Anchorage for an autopsy. Bethel Representative Bob Herron was the primary sponsor of House Bill 301, which passed the Alaska Senate 19-0 on Wednesday.

He says some families were stuck with large funeral home bills after decisions made with poor information and communication. The bill puts explicitly into law the option of releasing the body back to the family instead of a funeral home.

Another portion of the bill could allow families to keep the body in region and have some autopsies done remotely with high definition cameras.

The bill next goes to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

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