More Patient Death Info Release Passes State Senate

The state Senate has unanimously agreed to require that more information be released about patient deaths at North Carolina's public mental hospitals.

Senators on Tuesday approved a bill designed to ensure details about those deaths are publicly available. The bill now goes to the House.

Gov. Beverly Perdue supports the change, saying it would increase transparency in the mental health system. Written reports about patient deaths are now heavily redacted.

The proposal would require the name, gender and birth date of the deceased to be released, when and where the death happened and the circumstances. The information also would apply to deaths within seven days of leaving the hospital.

The bill also applies to facilities for substance abusers and the developmentally disabled.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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