The bill specifies that an autopsy report prepared in connection with the death of a minor is confidential and may be disclosed by the county coroner to any other person or entity only in accordance with certain exceptions.
Under the bill, the coroner or his or her designee may only provide a copy of the autopsy report prepared in connection with the death of a minor to:
- A parent or legal guardian of the deceased if the parent or legal guardian submits a copy of a written request to the coroner for a copy of the report in addition to an affidavit, signed by the parent or legal guardian under the penalty of perjury, verifying his or her relationship to the decedent;
- A law enforcement or criminal justice agency, including a district attorney, that is either investigating the death or prosecuting a criminal violation arising out of the death upon the request of the law enforcement or criminal justice agency, including a district attorney;
- A requesting party in a civil case where the moving party demonstrates to the court that the autopsy report is discoverable in accordance with the Colorado rules of civil procedure, upon the entry of a specific order of the court authorizing disclosure of the autopsy report, and in accordance with any protective order necessary to limit disclosure of the identity of the deceased and other identifying personal information;
- Counsel for the defendant, or the defendant if he or she is not represented by counsel, for discovery purposes in a criminal case upon the entry of a specific order of the court authorizing disclosure of the autopsy report in accordance with the relevant rules of criminal procedure only if discovery has not otherwise been provided to counsel or the defendant;
- A law enforcement agency that is investigating the death upon the request of the law enforcement agency;
- A local or regional child fatality prevention review team upon the request of the review team;
- The Colorado department of public health and environment as necessary for the collection of data in accordance with the Colorado violent death reporting system.
- The Colorado child fatality review team upon the request of the review team;
- A county department of human or social services in connection with the investigation of an incidence of alleged abuse or neglect of a minor;
- The division of youth services in the department of human services in connection with the investigation of a fatality that has occurred within a state owned or operated residential facility;
- A community clinic or a treating hospital for inclusion within the medical records of the deceased;
- An eye bank, an organ procurement organization, or a tissue bank; or
- A local or regional domestic violence fatality review team or the Colorado domestic violence fatality review board upon the request of a team or the board, as applicable.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)