A Texas county is seeking to be excluded from a state law that allows a rabbi to stop the coroner from performing an autopsy.
The Harris County Medical Examiner’s Office told the Houston Chronicle in an article published Sunday that it would like to be excluded from a religious freedom law that last year prevented the coroner from performing an autopsy on an Orthodox Jewish man that committed suicide. Autopsies are forbidden in most circumstances under Jewish law.
Texas state law requires coroners to investigate all unnatural deaths, including murders, suicides and cases where the cause of death is unknown. But another law prevents the government from infringing on religious freedom without a compelling state interest, according to the Chronicle.
Assistant County Attorney Barbara Callistien told the Chronicle that the issue comes up about once a month.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.