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Tennessee Bill Would Keep Most Autopsy Reports Hidden

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Autopsy and toxicology reports would remain largely hidden from public scrutiny under legislation that advanced Tuesday in Tennessee's GOP-dominated Statehouse. 

According to the measure, public disclosure of any report compiled by a Tennessee county medical examiner would be banned unless it was subject of a subpoena or court order.

The bill advanced in a House Health subcommittee on Tuesday and still needs to clear the full health panel before it can go to the House floor. A similar bill is making its way in the Senate.

Supporters argue the ban is needed to protect private information, arguing it can be difficult for families when sensitive medical information is made public. But open government advocates say autopsy reports are valuable tools when keeping government accountable.

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