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TO AMEND SECTION 17-5-535, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO VIEW PHOTOGRAPHS OR VIDEOS OF AND INCIDENTAL TO THE PERFORMANCE OF AN AUTOPSY AND THE PENALTY FOR VIOLATING THIS PROVISION, SO AS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH PHOTOGRAPHS, VIDEOS, AND AUDIO RECORDINGS OF AN AUTOPSY MAY BE VIEWED.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 17-5-535 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 350 of 2002, is amended to read:
"Section 17-5-535. (A) Photographs or videos of and incidental to the performance of an autopsy shall only be viewed by:
(1) the coroner
and/or or the medical examiner, or both, and their deputies;
(2) a law enforcement agency, for official use only;
(3) parents of the deceased, surviving spouse, guardian, personal representative, or next of kin;
(4) a prosecutor or a defendant when the defendant in the case is accused of the murder or homicide of the subject of the photograph or video;
(5) a person bringing or defending a civil action or administrative matter where the photo or video is considered by the judge or hearing officer, by written order, to be relevant to the action or matter; and
(6) a person who receives such photograph or video pursuant to a validly issued subpoena, after notice and opportunity to object are provided to the personal representative of the decedent's estate.
These photographs and videos must be released and disseminated only as authorized by this section.
(B) Notwithstanding the provisions contained in subsection (A), a medical examiner, coroner, or physician in lawful possession of a photograph, a video, or audio recording of an autopsy, or any other visual image of an autopsy, after redacting all information identifying the decedent to include his name, address, and social security number, and after anonymizing facial recognition, may use the visual image or recording for:
(1) medical scientific teaching or training purposes;
(2) teaching or training of law enforcement personnel;
(3) teaching or training of attorneys or other individuals with a professional need to use or understand forensic science;
(4) conferring with medical or scientific experts in the field of forensic science; or
(5) publication in a scientific or medical journal or textbook.
(C) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than five thousand dollars nor more than fifty thousand dollars. Each violation under this section must be considered a separate offense."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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