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Research on Decedents

Decedents are afforded the same privacy protections as the living under HIPAA.  However, HIPAA does make exceptions in the area of research on decedents.  Research on decedents does not require any prior approvals from the IRB.  It does, however, require approval from the covered entity.  The covered entity is also free to impose additional restrictions on access to information about decedents according to its own internal policies.  The requirements on the investigator are, from 164.512(i)(1)(iii) Research on Decedents:

The covered entity obtains from the researcher:

  1. Representation that the use or disclosure sought is solely for research on the protected health information of decedents;

  2. Documentation, at the request of the covered entity, of the death of such individuals; and

  3. Representation that the protected health information for which use or disclosure is sought is necessary for the research purposes.

Research on Decedents Form  This form does not require IRB review and may be presented directly to the covered entity from which you are seeking protected health information to conduct research on decedents.

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Last updated March 23, 2003 (.doc) (.pdf)

 

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