– 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?
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.