Chief Sponsor: Merrill F. Nelson

Senate Sponsor: Daniel W. Thatcher


8     Committee Note:
9          The Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee recommended this bill.
10               Legislative Vote:     15 voting for     0 voting against     1 absent
11     General Description:
12          This bill amends the Utah Medical Examiner Act.
13     Highlighted Provisions:
14          This bill:
15          ▸     requires the chief medical examiner to investigate deaths resulting directly from
16     actions of a law enforcement officer;
17          ▸     prohibits providing false information to the chief medical examiner, establishing a
18     criminal penalty; and
19          ▸     makes technical changes.
20     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
21          None
22     Other Special Clauses:
23          None
24     Utah Code Sections Affected:
25     AMENDS:
26          26-4-7, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 183
27          26-4-10, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1981, Chapter 126


29     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
30          Section 1. Section 26-4-7 is amended to read:
31          26-4-7. Custody by medical examiner.
32          Upon notification under Section 26-4-8 or investigation by the medical examiner's
33     office, the medical examiner shall assume custody of a deceased body if it appears that death
34     [was]:
35          (1) was by violence, gunshot, suicide, or accident;
36          (2) was sudden death while in apparent good health;
37          (3) occurred unattended [deaths], except that an autopsy may only be performed in
38     accordance with the provisions of Subsection 26-4-9(3);
39          (4) occurred under suspicious or unusual circumstances;
40          (5) [resulting] resulted from poisoning or overdose of drugs;
41          (6) [resulting from diseases] resulted from a disease that may constitute a threat to the
42     public health;
43          (7) [resulting] resulted from disease, injury, toxic effect, or unusual exertion incurred
44     within the scope of the decedent's employment;
45          (8) was due to sudden infant death syndrome;
46          (9) [resulting] occurred while the decedent was in prison, jail, police custody, the state
47     hospital, or in a detention or medical facility operated for the treatment of persons with a
48     mental illness, persons who are emotionally disturbed, or delinquent persons;
49          (10) resulted directly from the actions of a law enforcement officer, as defined in
50     Section 53-13-103;
51          [(10)] (11) was associated with diagnostic or therapeutic procedures; or
52          [(11)] (12) was described in this section when request is made to assume custody by a
53     county or district attorney or law enforcement agency in connection with a potential homicide
54     investigation or prosecution.
55          Section 2. Section 26-4-10 is amended to read:
56          26-4-10. Certification of cause of death.
57          [The certification of the cause of death under any of the circumstances listed in Section
58     26-4-7 shall only be made by the medical examiner or his designated representative.

59     Certification of the cause of death or signature on the certificate of death by any other person is
60     a class B misdemeanor.]
61          (1) (a) For a death under any of the circumstances described in Section 26-4-7, only the
62     medical examiner or the medical examiner's designee may certify the cause of death.
63          (b) An individual who certifies the cause of death in violation of Subsection (1)(a) is
64     guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
65          (2) (a) For a death described in Section 26-4-7, an individual may not knowingly give
66     false information, with the intent to mislead, to the medical examiner or the medical examiner's
67     designee.
68          (b) A violation of Subsection (2)(a) is a class B misdemeanor.