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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 23, 2019 11:43 AM
From: Representative Bob Brooks
To: All House members
Subject: Noah's Law - Proposed Change to Procedure for Cause of Death
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation previously sponsored by former Representative Eli Evankovich, former House Bill 2552, intended to rectify an oversight in our current law that can cause anguish for families across the Commonwealth.

Noah’s Law is named after a young man in my district, Noah, whom tragically and suddenly died during football practice. In order to determine the cause of death, an autopsy was performed according to law. In the hours following the death of their son, the parents of Noah faced unimaginable grief and hardship. One hardship that none of us would anticipate was to find out that because of state law the details of Noah’s death would immediately be public upon completion of the autopsy. In other words, the exact circumstances of their son’s death would not be private as one might suspect instead, that information would be shared with the public – including the news media.

The bill that I will be introducing, if enacted, will go a long way towards avoiding the added hardship that Noah’s parents experienced for other families in Pennsylvania. The change would require the Coroner or Medical Examiner to wait a minimum of 24 hours or until the next of kin was notified before releasing autopsy results to the public unless the results posed a public health emergency.

I humbly ask that you join me in cosponsoring Noah’s law.

Introduced as HB2755