Existing law requires a county coroner to inquire into and determine the circumstances, manner, and cause of certain deaths. Existing law either requires or authorizes a county coroner, under certain circumstances, to perform, or cause to be performed, an autopsy on a decedent. Existing law requires a coroner or medical examiner who evaluates an individual who died, in the coroner's or medical examiner's expert opinion, as the result of an overdose as a contributing factor, to report the incident to the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program, as specified.
This bill would authorize a county to establish an interagency overdose fatality review team to assist local agencies in identifying and reviewing overdose fatalities, facilitate communication among the various persons and agencies involved in overdose fatalities, and integrate local overdose prevention efforts through strategic planning, data dissemination, and community collaboration. The bill would authorize the overdose fatality review team to be comprised of, among other persons, experts in the field of forensic pathology, coroners and medical examiners, county, local, state, and federal law enforcement, and public health staff, as specified. The bill would make confidential, among other things, an oral or written communication or a document shared within or produced by an overdose fatality review team related to an overdose fatality review, as specified. The bill would authorize an organization represented on an overdose fatality review team to share information in its possession concerning the decedent who is the subject of the review, information received from a person who was in contact with the decedent, or other information deemed by the organization to be pertinent to the review with other members of the team. The bill would require information gathered and recommendations made by an overdose fatality review team to be used by the county to develop education, prevention, and intervention strategies that will lead to improved coordination of treatment services and prevent future overdose deaths.
Existing constitutional provisions require that a statute that limits the right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.