50-21-103. Limitations on right to perform autopsy or dissection. The right to perform an autopsy, dissect a human body, or make any postmortem examination involving dissection of any part of a body is limited to cases in which:
(1) specifically authorized by law;
(2) a coroner is authorized to hold an inquest and then only to the extent that the coroner may authorize dissection or autopsy;
(3) authorized by a written statement of the deceased, whether the statement is of a testamentary character or otherwise;
(4) authorized by the husband, wife, or next of kin responsible by law for burial to determine the cause of death and then only to the extent authorized;
(5) the decedent died in a hospital operated by the United States department of veterans affairs, Montana school for the deaf and blind, or an institution in the department of corrections or the department of public health and human services, leaving no surviving husband, wife, or next of kin responsible by law for burial and the manager or superintendent of the hospital or institution where death occurred obtains authority on order of the district court to determine the cause of death and then only to the extent authorized by court order;
(6) the decedent died in the state, was a resident, but left no surviving husband, wife, or next of kin charged by law with the duty of burial and the attending physician obtains authority on order of the district court for the purpose of ascertaining the cause of death and then only to the extent authorized by court order after it has been shown that the physician made diligent search for the next of kin responsible by law for burial.
History: En. Sec. 155, Ch. 197, L. 1967; R.C.M. 1947, 69-5103; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 262, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 301, Ch. 546, L. 1995.