Cases which must be reported:
Deaths meeting the requisite criteria must be immediately reported to the Medical Examiner. All physicians and other persons having knowledge of the death of any person who has died under any of the following circumstances shall immediately report such death to the Medical Examiner:
All deaths in which there are unexplained, unusual or suspicious circumstances;
o All homicides, suicides, accidents or unnatural deaths;
o All deaths due to poisoning or overdose, whether homicidal, suicidal, or accidental;
o All deaths following accidents, whether the injury is or was not the primary cause of death (examples: quadriplegia due to trauma or an accident);
o Maternal deaths due to abortion;
o Deaths that occur as a result of diagnostic, therapeutic, or anesthetic procedures;
o Deaths due to neglect;
o Deaths occurring outside of a hospital or nursing home, and not enrolled in a palliative care program under the care of a physician;
o Occupational related deaths attributable entirely or in part to external work place factors;
o Any death in which there is doubt as to whether it is a Medical Examiner's case should be reported and discussed with a Medical Examiner's Forensic Investigator;
o Sudden and unexpected deaths occurring in infants or children under the age of 2, under circumstances not explained by a pre-existing medical problem, must be referred to the Medical Examiner.
- Although the above cases must be reported, the Medical Examiner has the authority to accept or decline jurisdiction on a case-by-case basis. When the jurisdiction is declined, the attending physician signs the death certificate and the disposition of the body is the responsibility of the next of kin.
- Under no circumstances should clothing or effects be handled or disturbed before the examination of the body; or the scene altered, including moving weapons, items near the body, or to perform diagnostic examination, except by specific authorization of the Medical Examiner's Office. The body must be maintained in its original state. Personal effects and clothing obtained in Emergency Room situations must be meticulously protected, saved, and released to Medical Examiner or law enforcement personnel.
- The body may not be released to anyone other than Medical Examiner personnel, unless so authorized by the Medical Examiner.