(a) To protect the integrity of vital records and vital reports, to ensure their proper
use, and to ensure the efficient and proper administration of the system of vital
statistics, it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of or to disclose
information contained in vital records or vital reports or to copy or issue a copy
of all or part of any vital record or vital report except as authorized by this chapter
and by rule or by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
(b)(1) The State Board of Health may authorize by rule the disclosure of information
contained in vital records for research purposes.
(2) The rules shall provide for adequate standards of security and confidentiality
of vital records and vital reports.
(3)(A) Disclosure of information which may identify any person or institution named
in any vital record or vital report may be made only pursuant to rules which require
submission of written requests for information by researchers and execution of agreements
that protect the confidentiality of the information provided.
(B) The agreements shall prohibit the release by the researcher of any information
that might identify any person or institution other than releases that may be provided
for in the agreement.
(4) Nothing in this section prohibits the release of information or data which would
not identify any person or institution named in a vital record or vital report.
(c)(1) Appeals from decisions of custodians of vital records or vital reports designated
under § 20-18-203(b) who refuse to disclose information from vital records or vital reports as prescribed
by this section and the rules issued under this section shall be made to the State
Registrar of Vital Records, whose decision shall be binding upon such custodians.
(2) Within three (3) working days of the receipt of an appeal of a decision of a custodian
of a vital record or vital report designated under § 20-18-203(b), the state registrar shall issue a decision on the appeal.
(d)(1) The state registrar shall send to the county assessor of each county within
this state a monthly report listing the residents of that county who have died.
(2) The report shall be sent to each county assessor by email.
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