HIPPA and the Coroner's Office
The laws have been written to release the treating physician from liability or risk in the event of death of the patient. The purpose of this legislation is to allow the treating physician to comply with the needs of the Coroner to investigate the cause and manner of death.
The law is copied below :
45 CFR 164.512
[HIPAA Regulations Regarding Public Health Information section 164.512(g)(1) (g) Standard: Uses and disclosures about decedents. (1) Coroners and medical examiners. A covered entity may disclose protected health information to a coroner or medical examiner for the purpose of identifying a deceased person, determining a cause of death, or other duties as authorized by law. A covered entity that also performs the duties of a coroner or medical examiner may use protected health information for the purposes described in this paragraph.