Bill To Release More On NC Patient Deaths Approved

The General Assembly has given Gov. Beverly Perdue legislation she sought that's designed to release more information about deaths at North Carolina state mental hospitals.

The Senate gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that lays out what must be disclosed publicly when a patient dies. The House already approved the compromise now heading to Perdue's desk.

The bill requires that the name, gender and birth date of the deceased be released, when and where the death happened and the circumstances. The requirement also applies to deaths within 14
days of a patient leaving a hospital.

Facilities for substance abusers and the developmentally disabled also are included.

Attorney General Roy Cooper also pushed for the change, which he
said "will help uncover problems and protect patients."

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