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Lawmaker halts Tennessee bill to keep autopsy reports secret

March 9, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A state senator has halted efforts on his bill to make autopsy reports no longer public records in Tennessee.

Republican Sen. Joey Hensley of Hohenwald made a motion in a Senate panel that generally ends consideration of a bill for the year.

Republican Rep. Eddie Smith of Knoxville carried the House bill. He had an amendment to only shield patient medical information from the autopsy that was unrelated to the cause of death.

Hensley, a physician who is the medical examiner in Lewis County, said the law already protects the deceased’s health status before he or she dies.

The Knox County medical examiner advocated for the bill. The advocacy group Tennessee Coalition for Open Government opposed it.

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