(A) If a mentally retarded person or a developmentally disabled person dies, if the department of developmental disabilities or a county board of developmental disabilities has a good faith reason to believe that the deceased person's death occurred under suspicious circumstances, if the coroner was apprised of the circumstances of the death, and if the coroner after being so apprised of the circumstances declines to conduct an autopsy, the department or the board may file a petition in a court of common pleas seeking an order authorizing an autopsy or post-mortem examination under this section.
(B) Upon the filing of a petition under division (A) of this section, the court may conduct, but is not required to conduct, a hearing on the petition. The court may determine whether to grant the petition without a hearing. The department or board, and all other interested parties, may submit information and statements to the court that are relevant to the petition, and, if the court conducts a hearing, may present evidence and testimony at the hearing. The court shall order the requested autopsy or post-mortem examination if it finds that, under the circumstances, the department or board has demonstrated a need for the autopsy or post-mortem examination. The court shall order an autopsy or post-mortem examination in the circumstances specified in this division regardless of whether any consent has been given, or has been given and withdrawn, under section 2108.50 of the Revised Code, and regardless of whether any information was presented to the coroner pursuant to section 313.131 of the Revised Code or to the court under this section regarding an autopsy being contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs.
(C) An autopsy or post-mortem examination ordered under this section may be performed upon the body of the deceased person by a licensed physician or surgeon. The court may identify in the order the person who is to perform the autopsy or post-mortem examination. If an autopsy or post-mortem examination is ordered under this section, the department or board that requested the autopsy or examination shall pay the physician or surgeon who performs the autopsy or examination for costs and expenses incurred in performing the autopsy or examination.
Amended by 128th General Assemblych.52, SB 79, §1, eff. 10/6/2009.
Effective Date: 01-30-2004