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Washington state Senate passes bill allowing halt to autopsies

(JTA) — Washington’s state Senate approved a bill that would allow families to block autopsies for religious reasons.

Under the measure, which passed Feb. 9 by a vote of 46 to 2, families would have 48 hours to register religious objections to an autopsy, the News Tribune reported. 

Sen. Adam Kline, a Seattle Democrat, introduced the bill after the family of an Orthodox Jewish man who died on Mount Rainier in December objected to an autopsy, ultimately taking the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office to court over its religious objections.

The coroner in some cases can still ask a court to order an autopsy despite a religious objection.  

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