A bill that would restrict the public's ability to review death-related records in the possession of county coroners is working its way through the Pennsylvania legislature, following a veto of a similar measure last year.
Coroners, paid with tax dollars, have long had to report to the public on the results of their investigations into suspicious and violent deaths. But the coroners' trade group says the autopsy records should be banned from release under the state's open records law.
One issue raised is whether this will spare families of victims.
But media groups point out that there has been a long tradition of public disclosure, and that autopsy reports often are important for public safety and public policymaking, such as when workplace deaths occur.
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