Are autopsy reports available to the public?

In most states, autopsy reports are not available to the general public; they can only be viewed by police officers, medical examiners and other people on a need-to-know basis. States have varying laws regarding autopsies, photographs and other evidence.

Aside from law enforcement, people who can view an autopsy report include the deceased's next-of-kin, attorney or other person in charge of the person's estate. However, disclosure to next-of-kin may be denied if a court deems it dangerous to an individual's safety or to public safety. The press can also disclose photos if a court deems doing so to be in the public interest.

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