A young Amish man died mysteriously on his farm. The Amish are opposed to autopsies on religious grounds. –

I. Should the local law enforcement be allowed to perform an autopsy?

II. The Sherbert Test as applied to this case:

A. Was the person pursuing a sincere religious belief?

Yes

B. Did the law impose a substantial burden on the exercise of one’s religious beliefs?

Yes, the Amish are opposed to autopsies on religious grounds.

C. Does the law fulfill a compelling governmental interest?

(1a.) How important is the goal of the government’s law?

This law protects human life. Either from a mysterious disease, or from another person, i.e. a murder.

(2b.) Does the government’s law actually achieve its stated goal or interest?

Yes. This law allows local police to understand the cause of death and help take measures to prevent it from happening again.

D. Could this interest be accomplished in a less restrictive fashion?

Yes. The state could allow MRIs/X-rays of the body along with minimum amounts of blood/tissue samples to help determine the cause of death.

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