Senate Bill No. 297

Introduced By brooke, franklin, bergman, estrada, sands

A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act providing for reporting of death by sudden infant death syndrome; defining "sudden infant death syndrome"; providing for an autopsy in certain infant deaths; and providing an effective date."

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:

NEW SECTION. Section 1.  Sudden infant death syndrome -- findings -- definition. (1) As used in [section 2] and this section, "sudden infant death syndrome" means the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age that remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including the performance of a complete autopsy, an examination of the death scene, and a review of the clinical history.

(2) The legislature recognizes that research has shown that sudden infant death syndrome is a leading cause of death among children from 1 month to 1 year of age. The legislature finds and declares that sudden infant death syndrome is a serious problem within Montana and that public interest is served by research and study of sudden infant death syndrome and its potential causes and indications.

NEW SECTION. Section 2.  Autopsy. (1) If upon investigation of the death, the coroner suspects no specific cause of death, the coroner may, WITH PARENTAL CONSENT, direct that an autopsy be performed pursuant to chapter 21, part 1.

(2) When the coroner's findings are consistent with sudden infant death syndrome, the coroner shall MAY state on the death certificate that sudden infant death syndrome was the cause of death.

NEW SECTION. Section 3.  Codification instruction. [Sections 1 and 2] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 50, chapter 15, and the provisions of Title 50, chapter 15, apply to [sections 1 and 2].

NEW SECTION. Section 4.  Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1997.