The spouse or adult child of a deceased person will be allowed to access their loved ones' medical records under legislation approved Tuesday by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

The federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act already allows an established personal representative of the deceased person to access medical records. Oftentimes, however, a person passes away before formally establishing a representative.

SB141, sponsored by Sen. Pete Knudson, R-Brigham City, is an attempt to correct that "unintended consequence" of the 1996 law.

"I believe that this is a sensitive response to current legislation and is very straightforward," Knudson said.

The bill passed unanimously and now goes onto the full Senate for consideration.