Ruling: Autopsy reports aren’t public records in SC

From The Augusta Chronicle:

COLUMBIA — Most autopsies in South Carolina are paid for by taxpayers, but a state judge has decided they can no longer be reviewed by the public.

While the ruling took the media and First Amendment advocates by surprise, it isn’t unprecedented. About half of the 50 states severely restrict what can be released from autopsy reports or makes them off limits entirely. Much of the debate is over concerns whether an autopsy report is an investigative report that can be reviewed or medical records that should be kept confidential.