June 25, 2019

HB 13-1097: Changing Autopsy Requirements for Coroners Examining Bodies of People who Died Under Certain Circumstances

On January 17, 2013, Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Jeanne Nicholson introduced HB 13-1097 – Concerning the Duties of Coroners. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

In 2011, the general assembly enacted a law that requires coroners to perform a forensic autopsy or have a forensic autopsy performed under certain circumstances. As a result of that change, this bill repeals a provision that allows a coroner to ask a physician to make a scientific examination of the body of the deceased.

Current law allows a physician who is conducting a postmortem examination to remove the pituitary gland from the body of the deceased for medical research. The bill repeals this provision.

A coroner has additional legal duties when a person dies under certain circumstances that may require an investigation. The bill adds several additional duties and responsibilities for coroners when a person dies under those circumstances. On Feb. 20 the House gave final approval of the bill; the bill is assigned to the Senate Local Government Committee.