46-4-103. Autopsy -- when conducted, scope. (1) If in the opinion of the coroner an autopsy is advisable, the coroner shall order one performed on any dead human body for which the death requires an inquiry and shall retain a medical examiner or associate medical examiner to perform it. Performance of autopsies is within the discretion of the coroner except that the county attorney or attorney general may require one. Consent of the family or next of kin of the deceased is not required for an autopsy that is ordered by the coroner, county attorney, or attorney general. In ordering an autopsy the coroner, county attorney, or attorney general shall order the body to be exhumed if it has been interred.
(2) The right to conduct an autopsy includes the right to retain specimens the medical examiner performing the autopsy considers necessary.
(3) The state of Montana shall pay any expenses incurred whenever an autopsy or investigation is initiated at the request of the state medical examiner or attorney general. The county shall pay any expenses incurred whenever an autopsy, investigation, or inquiry is initiated at the request of the county attorney or county coroner.
(4) If a county does not provide a morgue or other facility for postmortem examination, the county coroner may order the use of a funeral home or an appropriate hospital facility for the examination.
(5) Autopsies performed under this section on a decedent whose death is under investigation and who has made an anatomical gift or on whose behalf an anatomical gift has been made must be performed in accordance with 72-17-217 and 72-17-218.
History: En. 95-802 by Sec. 1, Ch. 196, L. 1967; amd. Sec. 104, Ch. 349, L. 1974; amd. Sec. 25, Ch. 530, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 95-802; amd. Sec. 14, Ch. 660, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 345, L. 2007.