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My father passed away unexpectedly in the state of Oregon.

My father passed away...

My father passed away unexpectedly in the state of Oregon. We had an autopsy done and his widow refuses to share or mail us a copy. When I call the hospital to get a copy of the results, I am denied access. How do i get a copy of the autopsy results? What are my legal rights as his daughter?

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Not that I am aware of. I live in Maine so I am doing this from a distance

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No. I just want to know how I can get what i need

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Answered in 29 minutes by:
3/6/2018
DamienJD
DamienJD, Attorney
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Hello: My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. Please give me a moment to review your question. I may ask some questions to clarify issues.

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You should be able to get a copy of the report.

Oregon State Medical Examiner Laws state: "Any parent, spouse, sibling, child or personal representative of the deceased, or any person who may be criminally or civilly liable for the death, or their authorized representatives respectively, or those within the bounds of the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act, may examine and obtain copies of any medical examiner's report, autopsy report or laboratory test report ordered by a medical examiner under ORS 146.117."

You may want to contact the Division directly to inquire:

Oregon State Police Medical Examiner Division 13309 S.E. 84th Ave ,Suite 100 Clackamas, OR 97015(###) ###-####/p>

Here is a link to the guidelines: http://www.oregon.gov/osp/SME/docs/Guidelines_for_Req_ME_Record_V15aFull.pdf

If you have further questions or you need further assistance, just let me know.

If not, please remember to rate my answer between 3 to 5 stars without any additional costs to you. That is how I get credit for answering your question. Best regards.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you, ***** ***** autopsy was done in a hospital and when I call and request a copy of the results, I’m told they can only release them to the next of kin, which is wife and unless she grants the hospital permission, they will not give results to me. How can I get a copy? What are my legal rights in this case?Thank you

Thank you for the additional information. This sounds like a private autopsy. In that case, most likely you would have to petition the probate court for the records. You would have to argue possibly under what is called the Reasonable Assurance criteria whereby indicating how you were related to the decedent or offering sufficient details about the decedent’s circumstances prior to death to indicate your involvement in the decedent’s care. HIPAA rules may permit covered entities to disclose a decedent’s information to family members and others who were involved in the care or payment for care of the decedent prior to the death unless doing so is inconsistent with any prior expressed preference of the individual that is known to the covered entity. http://journal.ahima.org/2013/04/01/accessing-deceased-patient-health-records-faq/

If you have further questions or you need further assistance, just let me know.

If not, please remember to rate my answer between 3 to 5 stars without any additional costs to you. That is how I get credit for answering your question. Best regards.

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Customer reply replied 5 months ago
Thank you. I would have shared that important info first had I known there was a difference between the state and a hospital autopsy.
Do I need an attorney to write the letter appealing to the courts or is this something I can just do? I assume the letter goes to the court in the county that the hospital resides in? Will the widow be informed that I am trying to get a copy of the report?
Thank you.

You are welcome. You would need an attorney. The attorney would first approach the hospital one last time in an attempt to work this out. If it cannot be worked out, then a petition or motion would be necessary (a letter to the court would have no effect). When filing the petition or motion, the widow would have to be served as well as the hospital.

If you need further service, just let me know.

If not, please remember to rate my answer between 3 to 5 stars without any additional costs to you. That is how I get credit for answering your question. Best regards.

DamienJD
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